Best of Lord Dunsany

loom91

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Hi,

I've seen Lord Dunsany highly praised, but I have so much to read that I don't have time to read many of his works. Which work do you think is his best so I can get a feel? Thanks.

Molu
 

Teresa Edgerton

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I really like The King of Elfland's Daughter and The Charwoman's Shadow -- I'm not so fond of his short fiction collections. On the other hand, his short fiction is ... short, and many people admire it.

But Dunsany isn't for everyone. Whether or not you would enjoy any of his work depends on what else you like to read.
 

terryweide

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I agree with The King of Elfland's Daughter and The Charwoman's Shadow. Those are both good choices in regards to his novels. As for collections of shorter works, try At the Edge of the World, and Beyond the Fields We Know. Those would give a good sampling of his style and fantasy works. He was also an accomplished playright--The Glittering Gate was his first produced play, and he is also remembered for productions such as Plays of Gods and Men.

That should be enough to get you started. IMHO, in terms of fantasy, Dunsany serves as the bridge or transition point between the work of William Morris and the work of Tolkein. Hope this helps. Best wishes, Terry
 

Brys

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I'm really struggling to find his work. The King of Elfland's Daughter especially is a problem, because that's what I'm really looking for, but also because despite it being published in the Masterworks series, amazon doesn't have a copy, my bookshop doesn't have a copy - nowhere seems to.
 

Brys

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Typically, the US has all of them and the UK none of them.
Actually, I looked again and it seems that it's got some back in stock! I'm kind of surprised that the more recent Masterworks edition is out of stock but the older edition (same as US version) is in stock.

Now, how to find a justifiable reason for getting this seeing that I have 60 or so fantasy books left to read.
 

GOLLUM

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Brys said:
Now, how to find a justifiable reason for getting this seeing that I have 60 or so fantasy books left to read.
Brys do yourself a favour and get a copy of The King of Elfland's Daughter, it's definitely worth the effort and his best
fantasy work IMO...:D
 

Brys

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I've got a first edition of a collection of Jorkens stories. Could you give me an idea what they're about?
 

GOLLUM

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Brys said:
I've got a first edition of a collection of Jorkens stories. Could you give me an idea what they're about?
Hope I’m not stealing Jay’s thunder by answering this query but here’s my very short summary of the Jorken Tales Brys.

The Jorkens books consist of five books and now a more recently located sixth book. They’re essentially a series of tall tales told by one British upper class adventurer Joseph Jorkens in the tradition of Baron Von Munchausen but in some examples I’ve read marginally more believable or perhaps a little less far-fetched than our Baron. They basically revolve around exotic or far off locations presumably inspired by Dunsany’s own well traveled exploits as well as other more fantasy inspired locations all combined with an ironic humour. The prose is not as polished as that witnessed in his classic fantasy tale The King Of Elflands daughter. The stories are also all quite short in nature and very varied in topic, which means they’re quite fun when taken in small doses. I’ve read some of the Jorken tales before but as there is over I think from memory 120 of these tall tales, there’s plenty still left unread.

Jay’s correct, Nightshade is your best bet if you want the entire set of short stories collected in 3 Volumes.

Hope this helps.
 

fungi from Yuggoth

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A lot of Dunsany's stuff is in the public domain if you hunt around.

My experience with Dunsany has been limited to his short story collections. Gods of Pegana I found a tad too dry and Tolkien-esque for my tastes. Book of Wonder and Sword of Welleran were both fantastic and highly recommended. Fifty-one Tales contains some good ones also. A word on his short fiction: it's very short, often no more than a few pages, and somewhat vague at times. It can sometimes be hard to get yourself in the right mood for them, I've found.
 

GOLLUM

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fungi from Yuggoth said:
A word on his short fiction: it's very short, often no more than a few pages, and somewhat vague at times. It can sometimes be hard to get yourself in the right mood for them, I've found.
Yes that's probalby a fair point. A lot of the Jorken tales don't go for more than 8-10 pages max and some can end fairly abruptly.

Here's a link to some text versions of Dunsany's work including Gods of Pegana and Book of Wonder. BE WARNED though there's some annoying pop-ups here that I had to disable first...:(

http://lord-dunsany.book-lover.com/
 

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