Edward Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany

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The Right Honourable
The Lord Dunsany
Edward Plunkett, 18th Baron Dunsany.jpg
Edward JMD Plunkett, Lord Dunsany (18th Baron)
Born (1878-07-24)24 July 1878
London, England
Died 25 October 1957(1957-10-25) (aged 79)
Dublin, Ireland
Pen name Lord Dunsany
Occupation Writer (short story writer, playwright, novelist, poet)
Nationality Irish, British
Genres High fantasy, Science fiction, Crime fiction, Horror, Weird fiction
Notable work(s) Early short story collections, The King of Elfland's Daughter

www.dunsany.net/18th.htm

Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany (24 July 1878 – 25 October 1957) was an Irish writer and dramatist, notable for his work, mostly in fantasy, published under the name Lord Dunsany. More than eighty books of his work were published, and his oeuvre includes many hundreds of published short stories, as well as successful plays, novels and essays.

Born to the second-oldest title (created 1439) in the Irish peerage, Dunsany lived much of his life at perhaps Ireland's longest-inhabited home, Dunsany Castle near Tara, worked with W.B. Yeats and Lady Gregory, received an honorary doctorate from Trinity College, was chess and pistol-shooting champion of Ireland, and travelled and hunted extensively. He died in Dublin after an attack of appendicitis.

Biography[edit]

Edward Plunkett (Dunsany) was the first son of John William Plunkett, 17th Baron of Dunsany (1853–1899) and his wife, Ernle Elizabeth Louisa Maria Grosvenor Ernle-Erle-Drax, née Ernle Elizabeth Louisa Maria Grosvenor Burton (1855–1916).

From an historically wealthy and famous family, Dunsany was related to many other well-known Irish figures. He was a kinsman of the Catholic Saint Oliver Plunkett, the martyred Archbishop of Armagh. He was also related to the prominent Anglo-Irish unionist and later nationalist, Home Rule politician the Hon. Sir Horace Curzon Plunkett PC, KCVO, FRS, DL, JP (24 October 1854 – 26 March 1932) and Count George Noble Plunkett, Papal Count and Republican politician, father of Joseph Mary Plunkett, executed for his part in the 1916 Rising.

His mother was a cousin of Sir Richard Burton, and he inherited from her considerable height, being 6' 4". 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.

Plunkett's only sibling, a younger brother, from whom he was later estranged, was the noted British naval officer, Admiral The Honourable Sir Reginald Aylmer Ranfurly Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax.

Early life[edit]

Edward Plunkett grew up at the family properties, most notably Dunstall Priory in Shoreham, Kent and Dunsany Castle in County Meath but also family homes such as in London. His schooling was at Cheam, Eton and finally Sandhurst, which he entered in 1896.

Lady Dunsany, Beatrice Child Villiers

The title passed to him at his father's death at a fairly young age, in 1899, and Dunsany returned to Dunsany Castle after war duty, in 1901.

In 1903, he met Lady Beatrice Child Villiers (1880–1970), youngest daughter of the 7th Earl of Jersey (head of the Jersey banking family), living at Osterley Park, and they were married in 1904. Their only child, Randal, was born in 1906. Beatrice was supportive, and assisted Dunsany in his writing, typing his manuscripts, selecting work for his 1950s retrospective short story collection, and overseeing his literary heritage after his death.

The Dunsanys were socially active in both Dublin and London, and travelled between their homes in Meath, London and Kent, other than during World Wars I and II, and the Irish War of Independence. Dunsany himself circulated with the literary figures of the time, to many of whom he was first introduced by his uncle, the co-operative pioneer Horace Plunkett, who also helped to manage his estate and investments for a time. He was friendly with, for example, George William Russell, Oliver St. John Gogarty and, for a time, W. B. Yeats.

Interests[edit]

Dunsany was a keen hunter (for many years hosting the hounds of a local hunt, as well as hunting in parts of Africa) and sportsman, and was at one time the pistol-shooting champion of Ireland.

He enjoyed cricket, provided the local cricket ground situated near Dunsany Crossroads, and later played for and presided at Shoreham Cricket Club.

Dunsany was a keen chess player, set chess puzzles for journals including The Times (of London), played José Raúl Capablanca to a draw (in a simultaneous exhibition), and also invented Dunsany's chess, an asymmetric chess variant that is notable for not involving any fairy pieces, unlike many variants that require the player to learn unconventional piece movements. He was president of both the Irish Chess Union and the Kent County Chess Association for some years, and of Sevenoaks Chess Club for 54 years.

Dunsany campaigned for animal rights, being known especially for his opposition to the "docking" of dogs' tails, and was president of the West Kent branch of the RSPCA in his later years.

He was a supporter of scouting over many years, serving as President of the Sevenoaks district Boy Scouts Association. He also supported the amateur drama group, the Shoreham Players.

Dunsany provided support for the British Legion in both Ireland and Kent, including grounds in Trim and poetry for the Irish branch's annual memorial service on a number of occasions.

Military experience[edit]

Dunsany as Captain, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, World War I

Dunsany served as a Second Lieutenant in the Coldstream Guards during the Second Boer War and as a Captain in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in World War I, when he was wounded.[citation needed] Having been refused forward positioning in 1916, being listed as valuable as a trainer, in the latter stages of the war he spent time in the trenches, and in the very last period wrote propaganda material for the War Office with MI 7b (1). Dunsany signed up for the local defence forces of both Ireland and the United Kingdom during World War II, and was especially active in Shoreham in Kent, the most-bombed village in the Battle of Britain.

Literary life[edit]

Dunsany's fame arose chiefly from his prolific writings, and he was involved with the Irish Literary Revival. Supporting the Revival, Dunsany was a major donor to the Abbey Theatre, and he moved in Irish literary circles. He was well-acquainted with W. B. Yeats (who rarely acted as editor, but gathered and published a Dunsany selection), Lady Gregory, Percy French, "AE" Russell, Oliver St John Gogarty, Padraic Colum (with whom he jointly wrote a play) and others. He befriended and supported Francis Ledwidge to whom he gave the use of his library.[1]

Lord Dunsany, New York, 1919

Dunsany made his first literary tour to the USA in 1919, and made further such visits right up to the 1950s, notably to California. Dunsany's own work, and contribution to the Irish literary heritage, was recognised through an honorary degree from Trinity College, Dublin.

Later life[edit]

In the 1930s, Dunsany transferred his Meath estate to his son and heir under a trust, and settled in Shoreham, Kent, at his Kent property, not far from the home of Rudyard Kipling, a friend, and visiting Ireland only occasionally thereafter.

In 1940, Dunsany was appointed Byron Professor of English in Athens University, Greece but had to be evacuated due to wartime disruptions, returning home by a circuitous route, his travels forming a basis for a long poem published in book form. Olivia Manning's character, "Lord Pinkrose", in her novel sequence, the Fortunes of War, was a mocking portrait of Dunsany during this period.[2][3]

Death[edit]

In 1957, Lord Dunsany took ill while eating with the Earl and Countess of Fingall, in what proved to be an attack of appendicitis, and died in hospital in Dublin at the age of 79. He had directed that he be buried in the churchyard of the ancient church of St. Peter and St. Paul, Shoreham, Kent, in memory of shared war times. His funeral was attended by a wide range of family (including Pakenham, Jersey and Fingal) and Shoreham figures, and representatives of his old regiment and various bodies in which he had taken an interest. A memorial service was held at Kilmessan, Meath, with a reading of "Crossing the Bar" which was noted as coinciding with a passing flock of geese.

Lady Beatrice survived Lord Dunsany, living on primarily at Shoreham, overseeing his literary legacy until her death in 1970, while their son, Randal, succeeded him to the Barony, and was in turn succeeded by his grandson, to whom literary rights passed directly.

Writings[edit]

Dunsany was a prolific writer, penning short stories, novels, plays, poetry, essays and autobiography, and publishing over sixty books, not including individual plays. He began his authorial career in the late 1890s, with a few published verses, such as "Rhymes from a Suburb" and "The Spirit of the Bog", but he made a lasting impression in 1905 when he burst onto the publishing scene with the well-received collection The Gods of Pegāna.

Dunsany's most notable fantasy short stories were published in collections from 1905 to 1919. He paid for the publication of the first such collection, The Gods of Pegāna, earning a commission on sales. This he never again had to do, the vast majority of his extensive writings selling.[4]

The stories in his first two books, and perhaps the beginning of his third, were set within an invented world, Pegāna, with its own gods, history and geography. Starting with this book, Dunsany's name is linked to that of Sidney Sime, his chosen artist, who illustrated much of his work, notably until 1922.[5]

Dunsany's style varied significantly throughout his writing career. Prominent Dunsany scholar S. T. Joshi has described these shifts as Dunsany moving on after he felt he had exhausted the potential of a style or medium. From the naïve fantasy of his earliest writings, through his early short story work in 1904–1908, he turned to the self-conscious fantasy of The Book of Wonder in 1912, in which he almost seems to be parodying his lofty early style.

Each of his collections varies in mood; A Dreamer's Tales varies from the wistfulness of "Blagdaross" to the horrors of "Poor Old Bill" and "Where the Tides Ebb and Flow" to the social satire of "The Day of the Poll."

The opening paragraph of "The Hoard of the Gibbelins" from The Book of Wonder, (1912) gives a good indication of both the tone and tenor of Dunsany's style at the time:

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.

After The Book of Wonder, Dunsany began to write plays — many of which were even more successful, at the time, than his early story collections — while also continuing to write short stories. He continued to write plays for the theatre into the 1930s, including the famous If, and a number for radio production.[6]

Although many of Dunsany's stage plays were successfully produced within his lifetime, he also wrote a number of "chamber plays" which were only intended to be read privately (as if they were stories) or performed on the radio, rather than staged[citation needed]. Some of Dunsany's chamber or radio plays contain supernatural events — such as a character spontaneously appearing out of thin air, or vanishing in full view of the audience — without any explanation of how the effect is to be staged — a matter of no importance, since Dunsany did not intend these works actually to be performed live and visible.

Following a successful lecture touring in the USA in 1919–1920, and with his reputation now principally related to his plays, Dunsany temporarily reduced his output of short stories, concentrating on plays, novels, and poetry for a time.

His poetry, now little seen, was for a time so popular that it is recited by the lead character of F. Scott Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise.

Dunsany's first novel, Don Rodriguez: Chronicles of Shadow Valley, was published in 1922. It is set in "a Romantic Spain that never was," and follows the adventures of a young nobleman, Don Rodriguez, and his servant in their search for a castle for Rodriguez. It has been argued that Dunsany's inexperience with the novel form shows in the episodic nature of Don Rodriguez. In 1924, Dunsany published his second novel, The King of Elfland's Daughter, a return to his early style of writing, which is considered by many to be Dunsany's finest novel and a classic in the realm of the fantasy writing.

In his next novel, The Charwoman's Shadow, Dunsany returned to the Spanish milieu and to the light style of Don Rodriguez, to which it is related.

Though his style and medium shifted frequently, Dunsany's thematic concerns remained essentially the same. Many of Dunsany's later novels had an explicitly Irish theme, from the semi-autobiographical The Curse of the Wise Woman to His Fellow Men.

One of Dunsany's best-known characters was Joseph Jorkens, an obese middle-aged raconteur who frequented the fictional Billiards Club in London, and who would tell fantastic stories if someone would buy him a large whiskey and soda. From his tales, it was obvious that Mr Jorkens had travelled to all seven continents, was extremely resourceful, and well-versed in world cultures, but always came up short on becoming rich and famous. The Jorkens books, which sold well, were among the first of a type which was to become popular in fantasy and science fiction writing: extremely improbable "club tales" told at a gentleman's club or bar.

Dunsany's writing habits were considered peculiar by some. Lady Beatrice said that "He always sat on a crumpled old hat while composing his tales." (The hat was eventually stolen by a visitor to Dunsany Castle.) Dunsany almost never rewrote anything; everything he ever published was a first draft.[7] Much of his work was penned with quill pens, which he made himself; Lady Beatrice was usually the first to see the writings, and would help type them. It has been said that Lord Dunsany would sometimes conceive stories while hunting, and would return to the Castle and draw in his family and servants to re-enact his visions before he set them on paper.[citation needed]

Dramatizations[edit]

  • Most of Dunsany's plays were performed during his lifetime, some of them many times in many locations, including the West End, Broadway and Off-Broadway. At one time, five ran simultaneously in New York, possibly all on Broadway,[8] while on another occasion, he was in performance in four European capitals plus New York.
  • Dunsany wrote several plays for radio production, most being broadcast on the BBC and some being collected in Plays for Earth and Air. The BBC has records of the broadcasts, but according to articles on the author none of these recordings are extant.
  • A half hour television dramatization of "A Night at An Inn," with Boris Karloff, adapted from Dunsany's play by Halsted Welles and directed by Robert Stevens, was produced by "Suspense" in 1949. It may be seen in its entirety at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2zFmu82Fh8.
  • In 1952, "Four Star Playhouse" presented a production of "The Lost Silk Hat," directed by Robert Florey and starring Ronald Colman, who also collaborated with Milton Merlin on the script. A fragment of the episode may be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=poERmGE-RIU.
  • The film Dean Spanley, with a screenplay by Alan Sharp based on the short novel My Talks With Dean Spanley, directed by Toa Fraser and produced by Matthew Metcalfe and Alan Harris, and starring 8-times Oscar nominee Peter O'Toole, Sam Neill, Jeremy Northam and Bryan Brown, completed post production mid-2008,[9] and had a gala premiere in September 2008, with general release to follow.[10] Filming began at Elm Hill (also used by Stardust), Holkham Hall, Peckover House (Cambridgeshire), Elveden Hall (Suffolk) and the Cathedral Cloisters in Norwich in November and December 2007,[11][12] and continued in New Zealand. The film is funded by three investor companies plus two film promotion agencies, one from New Zealand and Screen East from England.
  • The film It Happened Tomorrow credited a Dunsany short story as one of its sources, and it was said that Sliding Doors also had a Dunsanian link.
  • The Pledge, a 20 or 23 minute colour production from the short story "The Highwayman," directed by Digby Rumsey, released by Fantasy Films in 1981 and distributed by Twentieth Century Fox, with music by Michael Nyman.[13]
  • In The Twilight, a 15 minute colour production from the short story of the same name, directed by Digby Rumsey.
  • Nature and Time, a 1976 colour production from the short story of the same name, directed by Digby Rumsey and starring Helen York and Paul Goodchild.[14]
  • Rumours have been reported about film or TV options around a number of other Dunsany works, from early stories to Jorkens to, notably, The King of Elfland's Daughter, which inspired the successful Stardust — but aside from the productions above, the only such option documented publicly was one by George Pal on Dunsany's The Last Revolution.
  • The author appeared on early television a number of times, notably on The Brains Trust — no recordings are known to be extant.
  • Dunsany is recorded as having read short stories and poetry on air, and for private recording by Hazel Littlefield-Smith and friends in California, and it is believed that one or two of these recordings survive.
  • An LP recording of a number of Dunsany's short stories, read by Vincent Price was published in the 1970s.
  • He appears as a playable character in the 1999 PlayStation game Koudelka.
  • Peter Knight and Bob Johnson, two members of Steeleye Span recorded a concept album based on Dunsany's The King of Elfland's Daughter in 1977, released by Chrysalis Records on LP and later on CD.
  • A number of Dunsany short stories have been published as audiobooks in Germany, and played on the German national railway, Deutsche Bahn (DB).
  • The radio drama "Fortress of Doom" (2005) in the Radio Tales series is an adaptation of Dunsany's short story "The Fortress Unvanquishable, Save for Sacnoth".

Memberships, awards and honours[edit]

Lord Dunsany was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and of the Royal Geographical Society, and an honorary member of the Institut Historique et Heraldique de France.

Lord Dunsany played left half back for the 1938 championship winning team for Drumree.

Dunsany was initially an Associate Member of the Irish Academy of Letters, founded by Yeats and others, and later a full member. At one of their banquets, he asked Sean O'Faolain, who was presiding, "Do we not toast the King?" O'Faolain replied that there was only one toast: to the Nation; but after it was given and he'd called for coffee, Dunsany stood quietly among the bustle, raised his glass discreetly, and whispered "God bless him."[15]

The Curse of the Wise Woman received the Harmsworth Literary Award in Ireland.

Dunsany also received an honorary doctorate from Trinity College Dublin.

Dunsany was nominated to the Nobel Prize by Irish PEN, but lost to Bertrand Russell.[16]

Influences[edit]

  • Dunsany studied Greek and Latin, particularly Greek drama and Herodotus, the "Father of History". Dunsany wrote in a letter: "When I learned Greek at Cheam and heard of other gods a great pity came on me for those beautiful marble people that had become forsaken and this mood has never quite left me."1
  • The King James Bible. In a letter to Frank Harris, Dunsany wrote: "When I went to Cheam School I was given a lot of the Bible to read. This turned my thoughts eastward. For years no style seemed to me natural but that of the Bible and I feared that I never would become a writer when I saw that other people did not use it."
  • The wide-ranging collection in the Library of Dunsany Castle, dating back centuries and comprising many classic works, from early encyclopedias through parliamentary records, Greek and Latin works and Victorian illustrated books
  • The fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen.
  • The work of Edgar Allan Poe.[17]
  • Irish speech patterns
  • The Darling of the Gods, a stage play written by David Belasco and John Luther Long, first performed 1902–1903. The play presents a fantastical, imaginary version of Japan that powerfully affected Dunsany and may be a key template for his own imaginary kingdoms.
  • Algernon Charles Swinburne, who wrote the line "Time and the Gods are at strife" in his 1866 poem "Hymn to Proserpine". Dunsany later realized this was his unconscious influence for the title Time and the Gods.
  • The heroic romances of William Morris, set in imaginary lands of the author's creation, such as The Well at the World's End.[18]
  • Dunsany's 1922 novel Don Rodriguez: Chronicles of Shadow Valley seems to draw openly from Cervantes' Don Quixote de la Mancha (1605, 1615).
  • Dunsany named his play The Seventh Symphony (collected in Plays for Earth and Air [1937]) after Beethoven's 7th Symphony, which was one of Dunsany's favourite works of music.[19] One of the last Jorkens stories returns to this theme, referring to Beethoven's Tenth Symphony.

Writers associated with Dunsany[edit]

  • Francis Ledwidge, who wrote to Dunsany in 1912 asking for help with getting his poetry published. After a delay due to a hunting trip in Africa, Dunsany invited the poet to his home, and they met and corresponded regularly thereafter, and Dunsany was so impressed that he helped with publication, and with introductions to literary society. The two became friendly and Dunsany, trying to discourage Ledwidge from joining the army when World War I broke, offered financial support. Ledwidge, however, did sign-up, and found himself for a time in the same unit as Dunsany, who helped with publication of his first collection, Songs of the Fields, which was received with critical success upon its release in 1915. Throughout the war years, Ledwidge kept in contact with Dunsany, sending him poems. Ledwidge was killed at the Battle of Passchendaele two years later, even as his second collection of poetry, also selected by Dunsany, circulated. Dunsany subsequently arranged for the publication of a third collection, and later a first Collected Edition.
  • Mary Lavin, who received support and encouragement from Dunsany over many years
  • William Butler Yeats, who, though he rarely acted as an editor, selected and edited a collection of Dunsany's work, in 1912
  • Lady Wentworth, poet, writing in a classical style, received support from Dunsany

Writers influenced by Dunsany[edit]

  • H. P. Lovecraft was greatly impressed by Dunsany after seeing him on a speaking tour of the United States, and Lovecraft's "Dream Cycle" stories, his dark pseudo-history of how the universe came to be, and his god Azathoth all clearly show Dunsany's influence. Lovecraft once wrote, "There are my 'Poe' pieces and my 'Dunsany' pieces—but alas—where are my Lovecraft pieces?"[20]
  • Robert E. Howard included Dunsany in a list of his favourite poets in a 1932 letter to Lovecraft.[21]
  • Clark Ashton Smith was familiar with Dunsany's work, and it had some influence on his own fantasy stories.[22]
  • J.R.R.Tolkien, according to John D. Rateliff's report,[23] presented Clyde S. Kilby with a copy of The Book of Wonder as kind of a preparation to his auxiliary role in the compilation and development of The Silmarillion during the Sixties.[24] Tolkien's letters and divulged notes made allusions to two of the stories found in this volume, "Chu-Bu and Sheemish" and "The Distressing Tale of Thangobrind the Jeweller."[25] Dale J. Nelson has argued persuasively in Tolkien Studies 01 that Tolkien may have been inspired by another of The Book of Wonder's tales, "The Hoard of the Gibbelins," while writing one of his poems, "The Mewlips," included in The Adventures of Tom Bombadil.[26]
  • Filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro has cited Dunsany as an influence.
  • Neil Gaiman has expressed admiration for Dunsany and has written an introduction to a collection of his stories. Some commentators have posited links between The King of Elfland's Daughter and Gaiman's Stardust (book and film), a connection seemingly supported by a comment of Gaiman's quoted in The Neil Gaiman Reader.
  • Jorge Luis Borges included Dunsany's short story "Idle Days on the Yann" as the twenty-seventh title in The Library of Babel, a series of works Borges selected and provided forewords for (not to be confused with his short story of the same name, "The Library of Babel"). Borges also, in his essay "Kafka and His Precursors," included Dunsany's story "Carcassonne" as one of the texts that presaged, or paralleled, Kafka's themes.[27]
  • Donald Wandrei, in a February 7, 1927 letter to H.P. Lovecraft, listed Dunsany's The King of Elfland's Daughter among his collection of "weird books" that Wandrei had read.[28]
  • Talbot Mundy greatly admired Dunsany's "plays and fantasy", according to Mundy biographer Brian Taves.[29]
  • C. M. Kornbluth was an avid reader of Dunsany as a young man, and mentions Dunsany in his short fantasy story "Mr. Packer Goes to Hell" (1941).[30]
  • Arthur C. Clarke enjoyed Dunsany's work and corresponded with him between 1944 and 1956. Those letters are collected in the book Arthur C. Clarke & Lord Dunsany: A Correspondence. Clarke also edited and allowed the use of an early essay as an introduction to one volume of The Collected Jorkens and that essay acknowledges the link between Jorkens and Tales from the White Hart.
  • Margaret St. Clair was an admirer of Dunsany's work, and her story "The Man Who Sold Rope to the Gnoles" (1951) is a sequel to Dunsany's "How Nuth Would Have Practised His Art Upon the Gnoles".[31]
  • Evangeline Walton stated in an interview that Dunsany inspired her to write fantasy.[32]
  • Jack Vance was a keen reader of Dunsany's work as a child.[33]
  • Michael Moorcock often cites Dunsany as a strong influence.[citation needed]
  • Peter S. Beagle also cites Dunsany as an influence, and wrote an introduction for one of the recent reprint editions.
  • David Eddings once named Lord Dunsany as his personal favourite fantasy writer, and recommended aspiring authors to sample him.[citation needed]
  • Gene Wolfe used one of Dunsany's poems to open his bestselling 2004 work The Knight.
  • 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.
  • Ursula K. Le Guin, in her essay on style in fantasy "From Elfland to Poughkeepsie", wryly referred to Lord Dunsany as the "First Terrible Fate that Awaiteth Unwary Beginners in Fantasy", alluding to the (at the time) very common practice of young writers attempting to write in Lord Dunsany's style.[34]
  • M. J. Engh has acknowledged Lord Dunsany as an influence on her work.[35]
  • Welleran Poltarnees, an author of numerous non-fantasy "blessing books" employing turn-of-the-century artwork, is a pen name based on two of Lord Dunsany's most famous stories.[citation needed]
  • Gary Myers's 1975 short story collection The House of the Worm is a double pastiche of Dunsany and Lovecraft.[citation needed]

Scholars and archivists[edit]

S. T. Joshi and Darrell Schweitzer were early workers on the Dunsany oeuvre, gathering stories and essays and reference material, and producing both an initial bibliography (together) and scholarly studies of Dunsany's work (separate works). Both are well-known figures in the fields of speculative fiction. In recent years, a PhD researcher, Tania Scott, from Glasgow University, has been working on Dunsany for some time, and has spoken at literary and other conventions.

In the late 1990s a curator, J.W. Doyle, was appointed at Dunsany Castle, locating and organising the author's manuscripts, typescripts and other materials. He discovered both known (but "lost") works, such as the plays "The Ginger Cat" and "The Murderers," some Jorkens stories and the novel The Pleasures of a Futuroscope (subsequently published by Hippocampus Press) and unknown, unpublished works, notably including The Last Book of Jorkens, to the first edition of which he wrote an introduction, and an unnamed 1956 short story collection, not yet published.

Bibliography[edit]

Notes[edit]

Dunsany's literary rights passed from the author to a Trust, which still owns them. These rights were first managed by Beatrice, Lady Dunsany, and are currently administered by Curtis Brown of London and partner companies worldwide (some past US deals, for example, have been listed by Locus Magazine as by SCG).

All of Dunsany's work is in copyright in most of the world as of 2007, the main exception being the early work (published before 1 January 1923), which is in the public domain in the United States.

Dunsany Castle (1181-), County Meath, Ireland

Dunsany's primary home, over 820 years old, can be visited at certain times of year, and tours usually include the Library, but not the tower room he often liked to work in. His other home, Dunstall Priory, was sold to a fan, Grey Gowrie, later head of the Arts Council of the UK, and thence passed on to other owners; the family still own farm- and down-land in the area, and a Tudor cottage in Shoreham village. The grave of Lord Dunsany and his wife can be seen in the Church of England graveyard in the village (most of the previous barons are buried in the grounds of Dunsany Castle).

Dunsany's original manuscripts are collected in the family archive, including some specially bound volumes of some of his works. As noted, there has been a curator since the late 1990s and scholarly access is possible by application.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ A Dictionary of Irish History since 1800, D. J. Hickey & J. E. Doherty, Gill & MacMillan (1980)
  2. ^ Cooper 1989, p. 159
  3. ^ Braybrooke & Braybrooke 2004, p. 110
  4. ^ L. Sprague de Camp, Literary Swordsmen and Sorcerers: The Makers of Heroic Fantasy, p 53 ISBN 0-87054-076-9.
  5. ^ L. Sprague de Camp, Literary Swordsmen and Sorcerers: The Makers of Heroic Fantasy, p 54-5 ISBN 0-87054-076-9.
  6. ^ Martin Gardner, "Lord Dunsany" in Supernatural Fiction Writers: Fantasy and Horror (1985) edited by E. F. Bleiler.Scribner's,New York. ISBN 0-684-17808-7 (p. 471-78).
  7. ^ Darrell Schweitzer,Pathways to Elfland: The Writings of Lord Dunsany (1989) Owlswick Press, ISBN 0-913896-16-0 .
  8. ^ New York, NY: New York Times, 24 December 1916: Second Thoughts on First Nights: "Speaking of Dunsany ... he has quite come into his own this season ... suddenly seen four produced on Broadway within a single month, and a fifth promised for production before the end of Winter. Everyone is talking about Dunsany now." From a second NY Times ref, three of these were The Golden Doom, The Gods of the Mountain and King Argimines.
  9. ^ IMDB website
  10. ^ 1 November 2007, Auckland: New Zealand Film Commission, Press Release
  11. ^ Norwich, Norfolk: 18 December 2007, Norwich Evening News (Kate Scotter)
  12. ^ Wisbech, Cambs: The Fenland Citizen, November 21, 2007: Hollywood Comes to Wisbech
  13. ^ British Film Institute
  14. ^ British Film Institute: http://ftvdb.bfi.org.uk/sift/title/105799
  15. ^ O'Faolain, Vive Moi!, pp. 350 n, 353
  16. ^ http://www.nobelprize.org/nomination/literature/nomination.php?action=show&showid=1127
  17. ^ S.T. Joshi, Lord Dunsany: Master of the Anglo-Irish imagination Greenwood Publishing Group, 1995, (p.2).
  18. ^ David Pringle, The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Fantasy, London, Carlton, 1998. (p. 36)
  19. ^ Lord Dunsany: Master of the Anglo-Irish Imagination (p. 152)
  20. ^ Letter to Elizabeth Toldridge, March 8, 1929, quoted in Lovecraft: A Look Behind the Cthulhu Mythos
  21. ^ [1] REH Bookshelf Website.
  22. ^ L. Sprague de Camp, Literary Swordsmen and Sorcerers: The Makers of Heroic Fantasy, p 212 ISBN 0-87054-076-9.
  23. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20050102084819/www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=books/main/classicsdunsany/
  24. ^ "When American Clyde Kilby arrived in Oxford in the summer of 1966 to offer Tolkien "editorial assistance" in finishing The Silmarillion, one of the first things Tolkien did was hand him a copy of Dunsany's The Book of Wonder and tell him to read it before starting work on Tolkien's own story".
  25. ^ http://www.conan.com/invboard/index.php?s=22017f3d5eb8ff9a904f5f53d49c1b36&showtopic=1201&st=60&p=66377&#entry66377C
  26. ^ http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/tolkien_studies/v001/1.1nelson.html
  27. ^ "Kafka and His Precursors"
  28. ^ S.T. Joshi and David E. Schultz, Mysteries of Time and Spirit: The Letters of H.P. Lovecraft and Donald Wandrei. Night Shade Books, San Francisco, ISBN; 1892389495 (p.26).
  29. ^ Talbot Mundy, Philosopher of Adventure by Brian Taves,McFarland, 2006 (pg. 253).
  30. ^ Mark Rich, C. M. Kornbluth: The Life and Works of a Science Fiction Visionary. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2010. ISBN 978-0-7864-4393-2 (p. 98 189).
  31. ^ Darrell Schweitzer, Pathways to Elfland , Owlswick Press, 1989 (p.19).
  32. ^ Kenneth J. Zahorski and Robert H. Boyer, Lloyd Alexander, Evangeline Walton Ensley, Kenneth Morris: A Primary and Secondary Bibliography, G.K Hall, 1981 (p.116).
  33. ^ "Jack Vance, Biographical Sketch", (2000) in Jack Vance: Critical Appreciations and a Bibliography, British Library, 2000.
  34. ^ Ursula K. Le Guin, "From Elfland to Poughkeepsie", pp. 78-9 The Language of the Night ISBN 0-425-05205-2
  35. ^ "I acknowledge with gratitude the influence of Dunsany..." M.J. Engh, "My Works", [2]. Retrieved October 15th 2013.

References[edit]

  • Bleiler, Everett (1948). The Checklist of Fantastic Literature. Chicago: Shasta Publishers. pp. 104–105. 
  • Smith, Hazel Littlefield (1959). Lord Dunsany: King of Dreams: A Personal Portrait. New York: Exposition. 
  • Amory, Mark (1972). A Biography of Lord Dunsany. London: Collins. .
  • Cooper, Artemis (1989). Cairo in the War, 1939-1945. London: Hamish Hamilton. ISBN 978-0-241-13280-7. OCLC 29519769. .
  • S.T. Joshi. "Lord Dunsany: The Career of a Fantaisiste" in Darrell Schweitzer (ed). Discovering Classic Fantasy Fiction, Gillette, NJ: Wildside Press, 1996, pp. 7–48.
  • Joshi, S. T. (1993). Lord Dunsany: a Bibliography / by S. T. Joshi and Darrell Schweitzer. Metuchen, N.J.: The Scarecrow Press, Inc. pp. 1–33. 
  • Joshi, S. T. (1995). Lord Dunsany: Master of the Anglo-Irish Imagination. New Jersey: Greenwood Press. .
  • Schweitzer, Darrell. "Lord Dunsany: Visions of Wonder". Studies in Weird Fiction 5 (Spring 1989), 20-26.
  • Braybrooke, Neville; Braybrooke, June (2004). Olivia Manning: A Life. London: Chatto and Windus. ISBN 978-0-7011-7749-2. OCLC 182661935. .

External links[edit]

Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
John William Plunkett
Baron of Dunsany
1899–1957
Succeeded by
Randal Arthur Henry Plunkett