The Fantastic Worlds of Lord Dunsany

It's fall, and I've been once again shifting from the usual topic of science fiction to horror and fantasy. Last year, I wrote about H.P. Lovecraft, and in my last column, I wrote about Robert E. Howard. As I've researched these guys, I continually came up with a common name: Lord Dunsany, and I've been looking to write about him and his works.

Dunsany's not an author that I'd come across before, and until I picked up a copy of The King of Elfland's Daughter I hadn't read or owned any of his works. Digging into his past helps to shine a real light on some of my own gaps in the fantasy side of my knowledge. He was an interesting, dramatic figure, intersecting with a number of other authors, and influencing a ton of others.

Go Read The Fantastic Worlds of Lord Dunsany on Kirkus Reviews.

Sources Used:

Trillion Year Spree, Brian Aldiss: Aldiss points to Dunsany's influence briefly here. Lord Dunsany: A Biography, Mark Amory: This is a detailed, somewhat dense biography of the author, going into great depth on his life. Literary Swordsmen and Sorcerers, L. Sprauge de Camp: I've had some issues with de Camp's work at history, but this book has a decent section on Dunsany, which served as a good guide. The King of Elfland's Daughter, Lord Dunsany: My copy of Dunsany's well known book is an interesting read, but for these purposes, it has a very good quote from Lovecraft about the author. Lord Dunsany, S.L. Joshi and Darrell Scheitzer: Comprehensive bibliography that was helpful for figuring out the timing of some of Dunsany's books and stories. Survey of Modern Fantasy Literature, Volumes 2 and 3, Frank Magill: These two volumes contain several detailed reviews of Dunsany's collections, novels and short fiction. Pathways to Elfland: The Writings of Lord Dunsany, Darrell Schweitzer: This book is a good literary analysis on Dunsany's works. The Hills of Far Away: A Guide to Fantasy, Diana Waggoner: Waggoner's book is a good overview of notable fantastic works, and this one served as a good guidepost.

Lord Dunsany also wrote a 3-volume autobiography, but sadly, I wasn't able to get a copy.