Rereading: THE BOOK OF WONDER by Lord Dunsany

Illustrations by Sidney H. Sime

This is the fifth book of short fantasy stories by Dunsany. In the earliest ones, The Gods of Pegana and Time and the Gods, Dunsany created his own worlds and mythology. Here that’s faded, so some stories are all in unknown lands, but others are merged with our own world, and stories at least start in real places like London. Another thing unique about this collection is that most of the stories began with a fanciful illustration by Sidney Sime, and Dunsany wrote the stories to explain the pictures. If anything, this sparked the author’s creativity and resulted in fine and entertaining stories, incorporating Dunsany’s dry humor and vivid imagination. Gods don’t come into it much, the protagonists are mainly humans, from crafty thieves to aloof princesses, brave adventurers to a London man who finds a window into another world. Great stuff, recommended. Make sure you get a version with the Sime illustrations.

The Book of Wonder by Lord Dunsany

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