Eddison wrote four distinctive fantasy novels which were widely praised by contemporaries including J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and Arthur Ransome. The first, The Worm Ouroboros, published in 1922, is a self-contained work set in the fantasy world of Mercury. However it also serves as a prelude to the three works that followed, Mistress of Mistresses (published in 1935), A Fish Dinner in Memison (published in 1941) and The Mezentian Gate (published posthumously in 1958), known collectively as the Zimiamvia trilogy. Describing the relationship of the trilogy to The Worm Ouroboros, Eddison wrote, ‘these later books do not so much break new country as dig deeper’. Eddison saw the novels as works which could be read individually but which would yield greater depth and enjoyment when read as a whole.