The Anglo-Irish fantaisiste Lord Dunsany (1878–1957) was immensely prolific. Author of more than a dozen novels, hundreds of stories, essays, and poems, and more than fifty plays, he infused every single work with his unique blend of fantasy, weirdness, and subtle humor.
S. T. Joshi and Martin Andersson, two of the leading authorities on Dunsany’s work, have spent years in unearthing uncollected works by Dunsany, and the present volume is the result of their labors. Here we find stories set in Dunsany’s native Ireland, evoking the real or imagined ghosts, leprechauns, and spirits that haunt that ancient land. Other tales are set in locales around the world, reflecting Dunsany’s far-flung travels through the Middle East and Asia.
The core of the book is a presentation of an untitled short story collection that Dunsany assembled in 1956 but that was never published. Here we find some of the lost jewels of Dunsany’s output: “The Dwarf Holóbolos and the Sword Hogbiter,” a splendid sword-and-sorcery tale that evokes such early masterpieces as “The Sword of Welleran”; “The Dance at Weirdmoor Castle,” a delicate tale of ghosts; “The Stolen Power,” in which the horrors of the atomic age are pungently expressed; and “A Goat in Trousers,” a story of metempsychosis treading the borderline of humor and horror.
Also included in this volume are several previously unpublished tales, found among the manuscripts at Dunsany Castle in County Meath, Ireland.
No reader can fully appreciate the prodigal fertility of Lord Dunsany’s imagination without appreciating the diverse and unfailingly entertaining stories in this volume.