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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.

Fifty-One Tales by Lord Dunsany
Although many of his most famous stories are longer in length, the miniature portraits of Fifty-One Tales (originally published in 1915 and sometimes reprinted under the title The Food of Death) are an ideal introduction to Dunsany. ... read more


Pathways To Elfland: The Writings of Lord Dunsany by Darrell Schweitzer
The complete guide to the life and work of Lord Dunsany by one of the world's foremost Dunsany experts. Covers every aspect of his writing, from the early fantasies to the later mainstream novels and mysteries. Forward by L. Sprague deCamp. Highly recommended.

... read more



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