Skip to content

Lord Dunsany: A Personal Bibliography

April 1, 2009

Lord Dunsany is, in the words of Nicholas Basbanes, ‘a gentle madness’ for me. I was introduced to his writing through Lin Carter’s excellent series of reprint anthologies in my early twenties, and I have been collecting his work (when I can afford it) ever since.

Dunsany is one of those writers who is already lost to antiquity, even though his death was recent (1957). He produced almost 80 books within his lifetime, which included short story collections, essays, poetry, novels, autobiography, and plays.

His life was no less kaleidoscopic: he was reigning chess champion of Ireland; he ran for municipal office in his native Ireland; he fought in both the Boer War and World War I, and worked in the British propaganda office in WWII, narrowly escaping capture by the Nazi’s by travelling through Africa; his plays dominated the New York theater scene in the twenties; and his exploits go on and on.

He was, from our perspective, not the most sympathetic man who ever lived: he was a big game hunter, chiefly for sport; he glorified war, and thought that it was not only inevitable but preferable in some cases; and he was committed to British Imperialism and the aristocracy into which he was born (his barony was established in 1439!).

For all his faults and turbulent life, Dunsany is, for me, one of the fathers of modern fantasy. His first book, The Gods of Pegana, was the first attempt to create an entirely new world, with it’s own physical laws, mythology, and pantheon of gods. It was the first book to not choose Earth as setting, and was a major departure from everything that had gone before. It’s influence can be seen in any bookstore that stocks a fantasy section; The Gods of Pegana made those works possible.

Every 10-15 years there is a minor Dunsany revival, and some of his work gets reprinted. We are in the middle of one now. A major anthology of his fantasy literature has been issued under the Penguin Classics banner, and a film based on one his later story collections, My Talks with Dean Spanley, is being released. Many of his novels and collections are slipping back into print (including some work that was never released in his lifetime).

Toronto is a minor landmark in Dunsany collecting, chiefly because of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library and the Merrill/Osborne collection. If you have never been inside these libraries, you’ve missed out on two of the major literary landmarks of Canada.

There is one major (and exhaustive!) bibliography that was published on Dunsany. It’s now twenty years old, but it doesn’t miss much. I used that, along with a lot of sleuthing, to put together a reasonably complete listing of Dunsany’s work in English, focussing on collecting his work to read (meaning I wasn’t interested in first editions, translations, or any scholarly ambitions; it was a checklist to get as much material as possible).

I’m going to list out a bit of it below (it’s a 28-page double-column word doc…that’s a little too much information for a blog posting).

Hopefully, at some point, I’ll be updating this posting with some additional books that have come out since I started this ‘checklist’ bibliography, and list some of the uncollected work that’s waiting for you in libraries.

Enjoy.

Come with me, ladies and gentlemen who are in any wise weary of London: come with me: and those that tire at all of the world we know: for we have new worlds here.
Lord Dunsany

Lord Dunsany: A Bibliography

Books

This includes all books with Dunsany as the primary author. Books written after 1954 are reprints of pre-existing material, and generally edited by others. In the case of plays, I have omitted separate publication, and listed them in their anthologies. If a date appears after a play, it was first published in that year. I have not included anthologies with a single Dunsany piece…that list is so extensive it would be too long to list here.

I will add links if the book is still being offered for sale. I’ll also add links to online editions. Obviously, when I can.

  1. 1905 The Gods of Pegana – Tales [Project Gutenberg]
  2. 1906 Time and the Gods – Tales [Project Gutenberg]
  3. 1908 The Sword of Welleran – Tales [Project Gutenberg]
  4. 1910 A Dreamer’s Tales – Tales [Project Gutenberg]
  5. 1912 The Book of Wonder – Tales [Project Gutenberg]
  6. 1912 Selections from the Writings of Lord Dunsany – Tales (This was the only anthology of Lord Dunsany’s work during his lifetime, edited and with an introduction by William Butler Yeats) [Project Gutenberg]
  7. 1914 Five Plays – Plays
    • The Gods of the Mountain – 1923
    • The Golden Doom – 1923
    • King Argimenes and the Unknown Warrior – 1923
    • The Glittering Gate – 1923
    • The Lost Silk Hat – 1923
  8. 1915 Fifty-One Tales (alternative title: The Food of Death) – Tales [Project Gutenberg]
  9. 1916 Tales of Wonder (alternative title: The Last Book of Wonder) – Tales [Project Gutenberg]
  10. 1917 Plays of Gods and Men – Plays [Project Gutenberg]
    • The Tents of the Arabs – 1922
    • The Laughter of the Gods – 1922
    • The Queen’s Enemies – 1922
    • A Night at an Inn – 1916
  11. 1917 A Dreamer’s Tales & Other Stories (reprinting A Dreamer’s Tales and The Sword of Welleran) – Tales
  12. 1918 Book of Wonder (reprinting The Book of Wonder and Time and the Gods) – Tales
  13. 1918 Nowadays – Essay
  14. 1918 Tales of War – Tales [Project Gutenberg]
  15. 1919 Tales of Three Hemispheres – Tales [Project Gutenberg]
  16. 1919 Unhappy Far-Off Things – Tales [Project Gutenberg]
  17. 1922 The Chronicles of Rodriguez (alternate title: Don Rodriguez: Chronicles of Shadow Valley) – Novel [Project Gutenberg]
  18. 1922 Plays of Near and Far – Plays [Project Gutenberg]
    • If – 1921 (earlier editions don’t contain If) [Project Gutenberg]
    • The Compromise of the King of the Golden Isles – 1923
    • The Flight of the Queen – 1923
    • Cheezo – 1923
    • A Good Bargain – 1923
    • If Shakespeare Lived To-Day – 1923
    • Fame and the Poet – 1923
  19. 1924 The King of Elfland’s Daughter – Novel
  20. 1925 Alexander – Three small plays
    • Alexander – 1925
    • The Old King’s Tale – 1925
    • The Evil Kettle – 1925
    • The Amusements of Khan Kharuda – 1925
  21. 1926 The Charwoman’s Shadow – Novel
  22. 1927 The Blessing of Pan – Novel
  23. 1928 Seven Modern Comedies – Plays
    • Atalanta in Wimbledon – 1928
    • The Raffle – 1928
    • The Journey of the Soul – 1928
    • In Holy Russia – 1928
    • His Sainted Grandmother – 1928
    • The Hopeless Passion of Mr. Bunyon – 1928
    • The Jest of Hahalaba – 1928
  24. 1929 Fifty Poems – Poems
  25. 1930 The Old Folk of the Centuries – A Play
  26. 1931 The Travel Tales of Mr. Joseph Jorkens – Tales
  27. 1933 Lord Adrian – A Play
  28. 1934 Building A Sentence – Essay
  29. 1934 If I Were Dictator – Satire
  30. 1934 Jorkens Remembers Africa – Tales
  31. 1935 The Curse of the Wise Woman – Novel
  32. 1935 Mr. Faithful – Play
  33. 1935 Up in the Hills – Novel
  34. 1936 My Talks with Dean Spanley – Novel
  35. 1936 Rory and Bran – Novel
  36. 1937 My Ireland
  37. 1937 Plays for Earth and Air – Plays
    • Fame Comes Late
    • A Matter of Honour
    • Mr. Sliggen’s Hour
    • The Pumpkin
    • The Use of Man
    • The Bureau de Change
    • The Seventh Symphony
    • Golden Dragon City
    • Time’s Joke
    • Atmospherics
  38. 1938 Mirage Water – Poems
  39. 1938 Patches of Sunlight – Autobiograpy
  40. 1939 The Story of Mona Sheehy – Novel
  41. 1940 Jorkens has a Large Whiskey – Tales
  42. 1940 War Poems (a muddle, printed while we were abroad) – Poems
  43. 1943 Wandering Songs – Poems
  44. 1944 Guerilla – Novel
  45. 1944 The Journey – Book-length Poem
  46. 1944 While the Sirens Slept – Autobiography
  47. 1945 The Donellan Lectures 1943 – Essays
  48. 1945 The Sirens Wake – Autobiography
  49. 1946 A Glimpse from the Watchtower – Pamphlet
  50. 1946 The Year – Book-length Poem
  51. 1947 The Man who Ate the Phoenix – Tales
  52. 1947 The Odes of Horace, translated into English verse
  53. 1948 The Fourth Book of Jorkens – Tales
  54. 1949 To Awaken Pegasus – Poems
  55. 1950 The Strange Journeys of Colonel Polders – Novel
  56. 1951 The Last Revolution – Novel
  57. 1952 His Fellow Men – Novel
  58. 1952 The Little Tales of Smethers – Tales
  59. 1954 Jorkens Borrows Another Whiskey – Tales
  60. 1954 The Sword of Welleran and Other Tales of Enchantment – Anthology of Pre-existing work
  61. 1970 At the Edge of the World – Anthology of Pre-existing work
  62. 1972 Beyond the Fields We Know – Anthology of Pre-existing work
  63. 1972 Gods, Men and Ghosts: The Best Supernatural Fiction of Lord Dunsany – Anthology of Pre-existing work
  64. 1974 Over the Hills and Far Away – Anthology of Pre-existing work
  65. 1980 Ghosts of the Heaviside Layer and Other Fantasms – Anthology of Pre-existing work
  66. 1985 An Enemy of Scotland Yard and Other Whodunits/Ein Feind vom Scotland Yard und andere Kurzkrimis (Bilingual edition) – Anthology of Pre-existing work
  67. 1985 Verses Dedicatory: 18 Previously Unpublished Poems
  68. 1993 Bethmoora and Other Stories – Anthology of Pre-existing work
  69. 1993 The Exiles Club and Other Stories – Anthology of Pre-existing work
  70. 1994 The Lands of Wonder – Anthology of Pre-existing work
  71. 1996 The Hashish Man and Other Stories – Anthology of Pre-existing work
  72. 1998 Arthur C. Clarke & Lord Dunsany: A Correspondence [Amazon]
  73. 1998 The Complete Pegana
  74. 2004 In the Land of Time And Other Fantasy Tales – Anthology of Pre-existing work [Amazon]
  75. 2008 Dean Spanley – Tales (includes the original book plus the screenplay for the film) [Amazon]

Lin Carter’s reprints of Dunsany in the Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series:

  • 1969 The King of Elfland’s Daughter
  • 1970 At the Edge of the World
  • 1971 Don Rodriguez: Chronicles of Shadow Valley
  • 1972 Beyond the Fields we Know
  • 1973 The Charwoman’s Shadow
  • 1974 Over the Hills and Far Away

Reference Books About Lord Dunsany

  • 1917 Dunsany the Dramatist, by Edward Hale Bierstadt
  • 1959 Lord Dunsany: King of Dreams: A Personal Portrait, by Hazel Littlefield
  • 1972 Lord Dunsany: A Biography, by Mark Amory
  • 1979 Lovecraft and Lord Dunsany, by R. Alain Everts
  • 1989 Pathways to Elfland: The Writings of Lord Dunsany, by Darrell Schweitzer
  • 1992 Lord Dunsany: Master of the Anglo-Irish Imagination, by S.T. Joshi

Bibliographies of Lord Dunsany

This isn’t complete, but many bibliographies focus on first editions. My focus has always been reading the man’s work, not collecting for value or for the sake of collecting. These are some of the more important works detailing Dunsany’s legacy, and provide wonderful introductions to the man’s prodigious output.

  • Bierstadt, Edward Hale, Dunsany the Dramatist
    • Contains a list of the first performances of many of Dunsany’s plays, including the actors and set designers.
  • Carter, Lin, Journey to the World’s Edge: A Dunsany Bibliography, Carcosa Press, 1974
  • Joshi, S.T., & Darrell Schweitzer, Lord Dunsany: A Bibliography
    • This book is still in print and although expensive, contains more information than any other bibliographies you will find. Essays, letters, foreign language editions, poetry, stories; you name it, it’s listed. If you have a Dunsany obsession, this is the book for you!

Letters of Lord Dunsany

I’m not listing out letters here, as many exist only in private collections, and access to them would be limited at best. Of note is a book that collects correspondence between Lord Dunsany and Arthur C. Clarke.

Lord Dunsany at Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg has collected an extensive collection of Dunsany’s fantasy writing and plays. You can see a complete list of Dunsany here. I will be adding links to individual works above.

Advertisements
2 Comments leave one →
  1. Luciana permalink
    April 5, 2014 1:51 am

    Your site is a great source of information. It is very hard to find things on Lord Dunsany here in Brazil. I am starting a dissertation on translating some of his work into Portuguese. It would be very nice if you could share some of your sources and material. I was looking for an email address but couldn’t find it. 🙂

    • Jeff Wyonch permalink*
      April 5, 2014 4:08 am

      The best authority on his works is probably still Lord Dunsany: A Bibliography, by S. T. Joshi and Darrell Schweitzer. This is where the bulk of the information comes from, although I did a lot of research at the University of Toronto. Their rare book library, the Fisher Rare Book Library, was founded by a couple of Canadian Dunsany fanatics. Check those out. Of course, the Barony still exists in Ireland, so you can talk to his descendants, as well.

      Unfortunately, the large cache of photocopies and research I had maintained had to be sacrificed during a move about a decade ago. All I have left is what’s included in these 2 blog posts.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: