Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron Dunsany (July 24, 1878-October
25, 1957) was an Irish writer and dramatist. Lord Dunsany is notable as a fantasy and horror writer.
Edward Plunkett was the son of John William Plunkett, 17th Baron Dunsany (1853-1899) and his wife Ernle Grosvenor.
He was a relative of the Roman Catholic Saint Oliver
Plunket, the martyred Archbishop of
Armagh. The Countess of Fingall, wife of Dunsany's cousin the Earl
of Fingall, wrote a best-selling account of the life of the aristocracy in
Ireland in the late 19th century and early 20th
century, called Seventy Years Young.
Lord Dunsany was educated at Eton College and Sandhurst.
He served as an officer in the Coldstream Guards
during the Boer
War and in the Royal
Inniskilling Fusiliers in World War I. He was a keen
huntsman and sportsman, and was at one time the chess and pistol champion of Ireland.
His fame arose, however, from his prolific writing of short stories, novels,
plays and poetry, reportedly mostly written with a quill pen. Whether or not he
did this for his original manuscripts, he transcribed a number of works in this
manner and bound them himself. These books are in the family collection.
Lord Dunsany's most notable fantasy short stories were
published in collections from 1905 to 1919: he had to pay for publication
of the first, The Gods of Pegana. The stories were set within an invented
world, with its own gods, history and geography. His significance within the
genre of fantasy writing is considerable.
The following is the opening paragraph of The Hoard of the Gibbelins
(first published in The Book of Wonder in 1912), which gives a good
indication of both tone and tenor of Dunsany's work:
- The Gibbelins eat, as is well known, nothing less good than man. Their
evil tower is joined to Terra Cognita, to the lands we know, by a bridge.
Their hoard is beyond reason; avarice has no use for it; they have a separate
cellar for emeralds and a separate cellar for sapphires; they have filled a
hole with gold and dig it up when they need it. And the only use that is known
for their ridiculous wealth is to attract to their larder a continual supply
of food. In times of famine they have even been known to scatter rubies
abroad, a little trail of them to some city of Man, and sure enough their
larders would soon be full again.
Writers influenced by Dunsany
H. P. Lovecraft was
greatly impressed by Lord Dunsany after seeing him on a speaking tour of the United
States, and Lovecraft's early stories clearly show his influence.
Fletcher Pratt's 1948
novel The Well of the Unicorn was written as a sequel to Dunsany's play
King Argimenes and the Unknown Warrior.
Lord Dunsany Bibliography
The catalogue of everything that Dunsany wrote during a 50-year writing
career is quite extensive, and is especially fraught with pitfalls, owing to two
things: first, Dunsany's many original books of collected short stories were
later followed by numerous reprint collections that included some of this and
some of that but nothing new; and second, many later collections bore titles
distressingly similar to somewhat different original books.
The following is a partial list compiled from various sources.
The Jorkens books were of a type popular in fantasy and science
fiction writing: the gentlemen's club, where extremely improbable tales are
related; they consist of:
- The Travel Tales of Mr Joseph Jorkens (1931)
- Jorkens Remembers Africa (1934)
- Jorkens Has a Large Whiskey (1940)
- The Fourth Book of Jorkens (1948)
- Jorkens Borrows Another Whiskey (1954)
- The Last Book of Jorkens (recently discovered and soon to be
- Don Rodriguez: Chronicles of Shadow Valley aka The Chronicles of
- The King of Elfland's Daughter (1924)
- The Charwoman's Shadow (1926), second part of the Shadow
- The Blessing of Pan (1927)
- The Curse of the Wise Woman (1933)
- My Talks with Dean Spanley (1936)
- The Strange Journeys of Colonel Polders (1950)
- Up in the Hills (1935)
- Rory and Bran (1936)
- The Story of Mona Sheehy (1939)
- Guerilla (1944)
- The Last Revolution (1951)
- His Fellow Men (1952)
- The Glittering Gate (1909, Abbey Theatre, Dublin)
- The Tents of the Arabs (1910)
- The Laughter of the Gods (1910)
- King Argimenes and the Unknown Warrior (1910 or 1911: sources differ)
- The Queen's Enemies
- A Night at the Inn (1911)
- The Gods of the Mountain (1911, Haymarket Theatre, London)
- Fifty Poems (1929)
- Mirage Water (1938)
- War Poems (1941)
- A Journey (1943)
- Wandering Songs (1943)
- The Year (1946)
- The Odes of Horace (1947) (translation)
- To awaken Pegasus (1949)
- Nowadays (1918)
- A Glimpse from a Watchtower (1947)
- Patches of Sunlight (1938)
- While The Sirens Slept (1944)
- The Sirens Wake (1945)
Millennium Fantasy Masterworks
- Time and the Gods (Collection containing The Gods of Pegana, Time and the
Gods, The Sword of Welleran and Other Stories, A Dreamer's Tales, The Book of
Wonder and The Last Book of Wonder)
- The King of Elfland's Daughter
We have assembled one of the most comprehensive online archives of the works of the great Scottish fantasy writer, George MacDonald. Although now best known for his landmark books of fantasy such as Lilith and Phantastes, George MacDonald wrote many books including historical romances, poetry and essays. His works influenced writers such as C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Now you can discover the works of George MacDonald presented in a readable online format.
Before he was killed in World War One, at the Battle of Ypres, William Hope Hodgson succeeded in creating one of the greatest works of macabre fantasy - the Nightland. Set in the distant future after our sun has died, the Earth is a desolate evil place. The age of man has passed and world has passed on to demonic creatures of the night that surround the Last Redoubt of mankind, where the last few million humans endure.