Authors > Lord Dunsany

One of the four or five great exponents of the adult fantasy was Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, the eighteenth baron of an ancient line which stretches back almost one thousand years to the Norman Conquest.

Lord Dunsany was born in 1878 in Castle Dunsany, a 12th-century fortress which was his ancestral home, in County Meath, Ireland, among hills that were already rich in song and fable a thousand years before his Norman ancestors came a-conquering. These were the age-old lands of the Ard-ri, the emperors of the ancient Celts. In Meath was Tara of the Kings, so sacred and venerable that the king who held it became High King of all Ireland. Thus the hills and fields of Dunsany's childhood were steeped in golden legend, and some of the enchantment and music of antique Tara entered into his wonderful stories.

Lord Dunsany was an astounding man. A sensitive poet, an enthusiastic huntsman, and a constant globe-trotter, he was always off on safari in Africa or teaching English literature in Athens (from which he escaped one jump ahead of the Nazis when they invaded). Yet he found time to write over sixty books--novels of modern life, works of fantasy, short story collections, mysteries, scores of plays, volumes of verse, autobiography, essays, and even a complete translation of Horace. A backward-looking traditionalist who scorned modern poetry and mechanized life (and wrote every one of his books with a quill pen), he yet proved to be an enormous, widespread and influential force on the writers who came after him.

A graduate of Eton and Sandhurst, he served as an officer with the Coldstream Guards, worked with Yeats at the Abbey Theater in Dublin, toured America on reading tours, and seems to have lived a full, exciting, and even adventurous life. It makes you wonder how he found time for those sixty-odd books.

Featured Titles:

The Book of Wonder

Come with me, ladies and gentlemen who are in any wise weary of London: come with me: and those that tire at all of the world we know: for we have new worlds here.

Year: 1912     Genre: Fantasy

Fifty-One Tales

Fifty-One Tales is a collection of fantasy short stories by Irish writer Lord Dunsany, considered a major influence on the work of J. R. R. Tolkien, H. P. Lovecraft, Ursula K. Le Guin and others.

Year: 1915     Genre: Fantasy

The King of Elfland's Daughter

One of the most influential and acclaimed works in all of fantasy literature, this captivating tale is the forerunner of modern sword and sorcery novels. It tells of a young lord's quest through a supernatural world in search of a fairy princess bride, recounting the lovers' romance, separation, and reunion.

Year: 1924     Genre: Sword and Sorcery

Jul 24, 1878 -- Oct 25, 1957

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Primary Genres & Topics

See Also: Authors



Want ItGot ItRead ItYearTitle

1906Time and the GodsFantasy
1910A Dreamer's TalesFantasy
1912The Book of WonderFantasy
1915Fifty-One TalesFantasy
1919Tales of Three HemispheresFantasy
1924The King of Elfland's DaughterSword and Sorcery




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