Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Dunsany's Lost Tales

Three letter press booklets of Lost Tales by Lord Dunsany have appeared from Pegana Press, and I’d like to give some account of them here.  They aren’t quite uniform, and the stories range from the beginning to the end of Dunsany’s writing career. Bibliographical details are incomplete.  A few tales are lost gems; most are capable and interesting stories.  Most are previously unreprinted; a few are previously unpublished. All three booklets are fine examples of letter press craft. There are hardcover and paperbound versions; I have the paperbound ones (see illustrations).

Lost Tales Vol. I (2012). Limited to 128 numbered copies.
Introduction by Michael Swanwick. Includes ten tales by Dunsany previously published between 1909 and 1915. [Contains: “Romance” The Saturday Review, 29 May 1909; “The Heart of Earth” The Saturday Review, 24 July 1909; “The German Spy” The Saturday Review, 10 August 1912; “Exchange No Robbery” The Saturday Review, 19 October 1912; “The Way of the World” The Saturday Review, 23 November 1912; “The Little Doings of Demos” The Saturday Review, 23 November 1912; “The Return of Ibrahim” The Saturday Review, 27 December 1913; “How Care Would Have Dealt with the Nomads” The Saturday Review, 27 December 1913; “Our Laurels” The Saturday Review, 28 November 1914; “The Eight Wishes” The Saturday Review, 6 March 1915.]

The Emperor’s Crystal and Other Lost Tales Vol. II (2013). Limited to 92 numbered copies.
Introduction by Darrell Schweitzer. Includes nine tales by Dunsany, eight previously published between 1915 and 1920, with one published for the first time. Also, there is a previously unpublished fantastical drawing by Dunsany, dating from 1904-1908, printed as the frontispiece. [Contains: “The Greatest Painter in the World” The Smart Set, April 1915; “A Walk in the Wastes of Time” The Smart Set, October 1917; “The House of the Idol Carvers” Vanity Fair, November 1917; “Cheng Hi and the Window Framer” The Smart Set, November 1919; “Researches into Irish History” Vanity Fair, November 1919; “The Loyalist” Vanity Fair, November 1919; “The Golden City of Joy” Vanity Fair, December 1919; “The Emperor’s Crystal” T.C.D. [Trinity College Dublin], 3 June 1920; “The Secret Order” previously unpublished, written spring 1909]
Lost Tales Volume III (2014). Limited to 80 copies. 
Unsigned foreword.  Includes seven tales by Dunsany, four published between 1910 and 1951, three previously unpublished. A frontispiece reproduces an illustration by S.H. Sime, originally published with some Jorkens tales by Dunsany in The Graphic, Christmas 1926. [Contains: “Jetsam” The Saturday Review, 25 June 1910; “Sources of Information” Punch, January 1945; “A Go-Ahead Planet” previously unpublished, written late 1952; “A Tale of Roscommon” previously unpublished, written 1954; “The Greek Slave” previously unpublished, written January 1940; “A Talk in the Dusk” Tomorrow, July 1951 as “A Talk in the Dark”; “Fuel” Rhythm, October 1912.]

For further details see the publisher’s website, and look around at their other offerings. 

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