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 Post subject: The King of Elfland's Daughter
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 7:07 pm 
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Knight
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Has anyone ever read the classic fantasy novel _The King of Elfland's Daughter_ by Lord Dunsany? It's a gripping book, could be considered one of the foundation books of all modern fantasy. Check your local library for a copy, or good luck with ebay / amazon.

Published in (I think) the 1930's. Well worth finding.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 7:28 pm 
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I have not. But I am intrigued now. :)

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2007 9:28 pm 
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The Scribe of Athero
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Me too - just the name alone invites all kinds of fantasy fantasizing :D Will look for it at the library first.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 10:49 am 
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Knight
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There's also a record album / CD titled the same, by Bob Johnson and Pete Knight, which tells the story musically (folk music style). Vinyl came out in 1977 by Chrysalis Records; CD in 1991 by Demon Records. I had the local CD Warehouse order a copy.

Brief plot synopsis:

In the land of Erl, the men appeal to their Lord to have a magic Lord, instead of mundane, because they think it will bring fame and renown to their land. The Lord sends his son, Alveric, to Elfland to find and wed the King of Elfland's daughter, Lirazel.

The book is about his quest, and what happens as a result of it. Some fantastic lines from the book:


The King of Elfland had withdrawn his frontiers far, leaving a space that to cross would weary the comet.

She dwelt by herself, in a narrow cottage of thatch, and roamed the high fields alone, to gather the thunderbolts; thunderbolts that had no earthly forging, that made such weapons as to parry unearthly danger.

So it was that Alveric, after traveling towards the Elfin mountains, pushed through a hedge into a field untended, and there suddenly close before him was the frontier of twilight.


Go find it.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2007 10:52 am 
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The Scribe of Athero
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Oooh *swoon* - what beautiful language!!!

I am going to my local library sometime this week to donate two copies of Witchcanery. I will be sure to look for it then. Hope I can find it.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 6:46 pm 
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The Scribe of Athero
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My library finally located a copy of the book - it was the July 1999 reprint by Del Rey for their new (at the time) imprint, Del Rey Impact, that covers lost treasures like The King of Elfland's Daughter.

I have just started reading it, but am already impressed by the testimonials of people like H.P. Lovecraft ("No amount of mere description can convey more than a fraction of Lord Dunsany's pervasive charm.")

Another delight is the Introduction by Neil Gaiman (he sure gets around, doesn't he?). Neil gives a little bit of the history of Lord Dunsany, who is, apparently, a bona fide English noble, the 8th Baron of Dunsany. Read this one paragraph by Neil to see the respect he has for Lord Dunsany and his writing.

Neil Gaiman in the Introduction to The King of Elfland's Daughter wrote:
To begin with, the writing is beautiful. Dunsany wrote his books, we are told, with a quill pen, dipping and scritching and flowing his prose over sheets of paper, and his words sing, like those of a poet who got drunk on the prose of the King James Bible, and who has still not yet become sober. Listen to Dunsany on the wonders of ink. "...How it can mark a dead man's thoughts for the wonder of later years, and tell of happenings that are gone clean away, and be a voice for us out of the dark of time, and save many a fragile thing from the pounding of heavy ages; or carry to us, over the rolling centuries, even a song from lips long dead on forgotten hills."

I have read about half the first chapter and am entranced. It reads like a modern version of a biblical parable, yet is spellbinding and chock full of beautiful descriptions. I am dazzled and amazed.

Thanks, EQPlayer, for alerting me to this treasure.

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Last edited by Raya on Thu Jul 30, 2009 8:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 8:14 pm 
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Knight Commander
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If it is good enough for Lovecraft and Gaiman, I am sold. Will have to check amazon next time we get paid.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 10:31 am 
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The Scribe of Athero
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I finished this book and have mixed feelings about it. On the positive side, the language is beautiful. Dunsany has an amazing grasp of the English language and uses it like an artist, painting images and creating feelings with his words. The story itself is somewhat timeless, but interesting to follow to its conclusion as well.

On the not-so-positive side, the story is drawn out in the style of the '30s, with way more description than is necessary. It does drag quite a bit in places, and I found myself skipping over some of it just to get on with the story.

However, all in all I am glad I read it. It is a shining example of how beautiful the English language really is and how it can be used, not just to tell a story, but to enhance it with beauty, even the sad or ugly parts.

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 Post subject: Re: The King of Elfland's Daughter
PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:01 pm 
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Knight
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I'm glad you liked it, Raya. Think I'll reread it too; it's been a while.


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 Post subject: Re: The King of Elfland's Daughter
PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 11:50 am 
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The Scribe of Athero
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How nice to see you again, EQP! :D

You might also want to take a look at our newest book from FantasyFic Publishng, BIRTH OF A UNICORN AND OTHER STORIES. There are 12 beautiful stories in it altogether, by 8 of the FF writers, including yours truly.

There is one story there in particular, "I Promise" by Eric Esteb (Wychwethl), that has beautiful language very reminiscent of Lord Dunsany's. If you would like to buy it, decide whose autograph you would like (or who is the closest to cut down shipping costs) and order a copy from them--$17.95 plus shipping and handling.

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