The Book of Wonder

The Book of Wonder

Lord Dunsany / Feb 18, 2020

The Book of Wonder Not only does any tale which crosshatches between this world and Faerie owe a Founder s Debt to Lord Dunsany but the secondary world created by J R R Tolkien from which almost all fantasylands have d

  • Title: The Book of Wonder
  • Author: Lord Dunsany
  • ISBN: 9781587156373
  • Page: 119
  • Format: Paperback
  • Not only does any tale which crosshatches between this world and Faerie owe a Founder s Debt to Lord Dunsany, but the secondary world created by J.R.R Tolkien from which almost all fantasylands have devolved also took shape and flower from Dunsany s example The Encyclopedia of Fantasy Most fantasy enthusiasts consider Lord Dunsany one of the most significant forces Not only does any tale which crosshatches between this world and Faerie owe a Founder s Debt to Lord Dunsany, but the secondary world created by J.R.R Tolkien from which almost all fantasylands have devolved also took shape and flower from Dunsany s example The Encyclopedia of Fantasy Most fantasy enthusiasts consider Lord Dunsany one of the most significant forces in modern fantasy his influences have been observed in the works of H.P Lovecraft, L Sprague de Camp, Fritz Leiber, Jack Vance, and many other modern writers The Book of Wonder is Dunsany at his peak of his talent The stories here are a lush tapestry of language, conjuring images of people, places, and things which cannot possibly exist, yet somehow ring true They are, in short, full of wonder Together with Dunsany s other major collections, A Dreamer s Tales and Tales of Three Hemispheres, they are a necessary part of any fantasy collection.

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      Posted by:Lord Dunsany
      Published :2018-011-06T08:24:26+00:00

    About "Lord Dunsany"

      • Lord Dunsany

        Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany was an Anglo Irish writer and dramatist, notable for his work in fantasy published under the name Lord Dunsany More than eighty books of his work were published, and his oeuvre includes hundreds of short stories, as well as successful plays, novels and essays Born to one of the oldest titles in the Irish peerage, he lived much of his life at perhaps Ireland s longest inhabited home, Dunsany Castle near Tara, received an honourary doctorate from Trinity College, and died in Dublin.


    1. Geek that I am I actually read this to prepare for the Tolkien Professor’s Faerie & Fantasy podcast seminarthat covers the book. I am rather conflicted about Dunsany in general and this book in particular. After finishing the first half I found that _The Book of Wonder_ more or less confirmed for me my initial impressions of Dunsany gathered when I first read _The Hashish Man and Other Stories_ many years ago. Namely that while Dunsany is an excellent prose stylist and creator of many arre [...]

    2. Dunsany possibly at his peak -- this is a short collection of short stories (mostly in the 3-4 page range) and vignettes, but what stories they are, all told in Dunsany's poetic, King James-inflected prose.Highlights include Distressing Tale of Thanogbrind the Jeweller, Probable Adventures of the Three Literary Men, Chu-bu and Sheemish and, of course, The Hoard of the Gibbelins.If you're only going to read one Dunsany collection, this is probably the one to pick. (With The Sword of Welleran as a [...]

    3. You will be drowned in an ocean of prose, and you will like it, because it will feel like breathing in for the first time the scent of the sweet honey blossoms of the tree of eternal youth and pleasantness in the realm of the great god Fa-deed-dl-dee-da which is inhibited only by the most beautiful and short-lived butterflies and one vicious guard dog that has torn to shreds exactly nine and one-half humans and one unfortunate katydid.

    4. O Livro do Deslumbramento é uma colectânea que reúne contos de dois diferentes livros de Lord Dunsany: The Book of Wonder (1912) e The Last Book of Wonder (1916). Trata-se de uma publicação traduzida pelo Clube de Tradução Literária da Universidade Lusófona, com organização de José Manuel Lopes, que mais uma vez contribui para fazer chegar ao público português, um autor cuja obra foi fulcral para o desenvolvimento da ficção especulativa.“Nem todos nos pudemos sentar aos pés de [...]

    5. Dunsany's magic is palpable in all elements in his stories. These short stories, in some cases, left me wanting for more, in others, I was rather bored and just wanting it to end. I believe that were Dunsany truly shines is when he creates a vast world where his characters can evolve and more than that, affect the world where they live and also affect the magic. In most books, magic has an effect in the world; with Dunsany, magic is so present, that characters can affect its course, its power an [...]


    7. Some of the stories are okay, but in many cases they feel a little dated. The ones about politics, however, are quite funny.

    8. Classic fantasy from one of the great masters. Published in 1912, this was not the first nor the last book of short stories from Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany (what a moniker that was!) It was, however the only one that was created with the illustrations done first. Sidney Sime, who illustrated many of Dunsany's works, had complained that he always had to draw what the editors wanted. Supposedly Dunsany told Sime to draw what he liked, and the stories could be invented [...]

    9. This is the thrid book I've read by Lord Dunsany, and he has quickly moved into my top five best authors list. This book is similar to "Time and the Gods", in that it's more of a collection of shorts than a novel. Everyone of them was awesome, I particularly liked the stories that involved men who got a glimpse of the fantastical realms that Dunsany created and then decided to leave the world we know. Also, there were several stories that did not have happy endings, which I really enjoyed.Dunsan [...]

    10. This is one of the books Janny brought to NYC when she moved in with me to study at Barnard College. Being intent on reading what she had read, having liked Tolkien as a child and having heard often of Lord Dunsany, I picked this up. Unfortunately, I was disappointed, Dunsany's style of fantasy--in this collection at least--not touching me at all.

    11. thus far I really enjoy it.Dunsany had an extreme influence on H.P. Lovecraft, another of my favourite authors, and it's evident in just this small tome of stories -- only a few of which I've read so far. so yes, brilliant.Lovecraft once said: "There are my Dunsany stories, and there are my Poe stories -- alas, where are my Lovecraft stories?"Read it, especially if you like Lovecraft.

    12. I listened to a variety audio recordings of this book. I found it heavy on prose (beautiful prose, mind you), but the prose made it difficult to follow the plots. I think listening to it instead of reading it was a mistake on my part.

    13. يقع كتاب العجائب في المنطقة الفاصلة بين الفانتازيا والخيال الغريب، لا أعتقد أني قرأت كتاب مثله من قبل، ذكرني الكتاب في أوله بعض الشيء بأعمال دونساني الأخرى من آلهة بيجانا والزمن والآلهة، ولكن الاشارة المستمرة لأماكن معروفة مثل لندن وباريس وأسبانيا وبلاد العرب تعطي الكتاب [...]

    14. Tales of Wonder from an Appendix N Master I continue delving into the short weird fiction of Lord Dunsany with the Book of Wonder, which seems to mostly concern fantasy and weird fiction crossovers between the dream worlds of Dunsany (which influenced Lovecraft's Dreamlands heavily) and the waking world of the author. Hence, many characters know both London and the fantastic realms of Dunsany's imagination. The imaginative fiction had clear influences on D&D as part of Appendix N (e.g the gn [...]

    15. It's easy to see why Dunsany's style is so widely copied. His fully-formed flights of fancy are packed with imagination and stylised prose. Nevertheless, it's hard to escape the fact that most of these stories end weakly. A fascinating hook to pull you in, a thrilling premise then nothing. It's almost like he had too many ideas to know what to do with, but hated to throw anything away.

    16. Another I read long ago, downloaded from Gutenberg. Like all my comments regarding Dunsany the prose is beautiful and I enjoyed every minute of it, but the moment I closed the cover not a word of it stayed with me.

    17. I really enjoyed this. There more than a few duds, but The Coronation of Mr. Thomas Shap, Chu-Bu and Sheemish, and The Wonderful Window made up for them and are now among my favorite short stories.

    18. Um detalhe delicioso no livro revela a paixão que sua editora tem pelo ofício: na tipografia escolhida, a letra Q, maiúscula, tem a “perninha” se alongando por debaixo das duas letras que a seguem. Teria que fotografar para você entender a graciosidade desta fonte, que faz com que, páginas após páginas, vejamos uma diminuta espada cindindo as linhas. Numa obra onde a tônica é o inusitado, esse Q acrescenta um charme metalinguístico.A editora Arte & Letra, de Curitiba/PR, que ta [...]

    19. Woah, this is like, Vogon poetry bad.How nimbly he threaded his way through the pits of Snood!—now like a botanist, scrutinising the ground; now like a dancer, leaping from crumbling edges. It was quite dark when he went by the towers of Tor, where archers shoot ivory arrows at strangers lest any foreigner should alter their laws, which are bad, but not to be altered by mere aliens. At night they shoot by the sound of the strangers' feet. O, Thangobrind, Thangobrind, was ever a jeweller like y [...]

    20. Lord Dunsany succeeds at the project implied by the book's title; I found myself going through the stories with a sense of awed curiosity. But in almost every single instance, the stories were over too quickly. They had beautiful descriptions of fantastic worlds, then they ended before any time could be spent of characters or even plot.A striking example is the third story, "The House of the Sphinx," in which a nameless narrator goes to see the Sphinx. He finds out that some sort of evil creatur [...]

    21. Dunsany presents perfect prose poetry and uncanny imagery. I appreciate how these stories have influenced Lovecraft’s Dream Cycle. Lovecraft makes the same offhand references as Dunsany to strange and fantastic things, but he seems to add a little more gravity by having a consistent mythology thread through his talesE LOOT OF BOMBASHARNA has me imagining a pirate islands sailing around like the corporate pirates from the Meaning of Life. And to continue the Monty Python analogies, every story [...]

    22. I picked this up because I heard that Dunsany was the father of the fantasy genre. Before reading this I thought of many fantasies which predate Dunsany's work even Collidi's Pinocchio was published when Dunsany was only five years old. I wondered what was so original with this author that he could be considered the father of a new genre when clearly the general fantasy concept had already been exploited frequently and definitely recently.Once I started reading though, all became clear. The stor [...]

    23. Meu primeiro contato com Lorde Dunsany foi um comentário de Neil Gaiman, que me levou até The King of Elfland’s Daughter, o terrivelmente belo (sim, é um paradoxo) conto que serviu de base para Stardust. Desde então, o nome ficou no meu radar e quando apareceu a tradução de Contos Maravilhosos, não hesitei nem por um momento antes de sair correndo atrás do volume.Embora tenha sido publicado num único volume aqui no Brasil, Contos Maravilhosos são, na verdade, dois livros de contos de [...]

    24. I'd been recommended to read Dunsany as an example of early fantasy, and so I was quite interested to get into this book. My problem is that I don't think I posses the critical faculty to judge it by context, instead reading with a twenty-first century eye.As a result I had issues, possibly issues that are a little unfair. There were some fantastic ideas in the book. On an imaginative level, I loved the centaurs, the Dragon in "Miss Cubbidge & The Dragon Of Romance" (which read as an early u [...]

    25. It's quite difficult to convey in words how happy reading Lord Dunsany's short fiction makes me. His fiction is dreamlike in the truest possible sense of that word. They feel like experiencing someone else's dreams: not the rambling, nonsensical things that dreams always seem to turn into when removed from their natural habitat of the subconscious and explained to another person, but true dreams, half-glimpsed yet utterly tangible, light yet razor-sharp, vivid yet hazy. In this volume of otherwo [...]

    26. A good book You need to be patient with this one: it's like Lovecraft in that the author has never met an adjective he can't fit in somewhere. The stories are good, but deliberately don't have satisfactory narrative forms, which makes them more like the abrupt folktales sometimes found in oral collections.The Librivox read is lingering and monotonous. During the first story I wanted the reader to do more with his voice, but from the second onward, it had an odd effect on me, like a person chanti [...]

    27. I was hooked at the Preface: "Come with me for there are new worlds here." Indeed. Lord Dunsany would have been a delightful #FridayFlash contributor, judging from these stories. Many of them take place at the Edge of the World (and beyond), some in London and some combine and contrast the mundane with the fantastic. The influence on more famous fantasy writers who came after, and even good old Dungeons and Dragons, is easy to see.The prose gets purple in spots; but compared to some other author [...]

    28. Lord Dunsany presents a series of tales, with varying degrees of wonder, from small intrusions on the Victorian world to full fledged fantasy. There is a feeling of haphazardness, of a half built world, of ideas and names reused. Some are moral fables, some are funny, a few just want to tickle our imagination.Dunsany was the biggest single influence on most of the Fantasy writers in English in the first half of the century, and indirectly most of the rest. His love of baroque and colourful langu [...]

    29. These stories are glimpses that seem fashioned more after folk tales or the snippets of stories that are in the Arabian Nights and less are what we would consider fully formed stories today. The language is rich and elaborate, evoking another frame of mind and reality by itself. Many of the stories end in odd places or go sideways. Most are somehow related to an instant where a more normal life intersected with the odd and strange. I think the one that struck me most was the window that showed a [...]

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