By Hope Mirrlees
A classic fairy tale, acknowledged as an inspiration by Neil Gaiman, Mary Gentle and many others.
The town of Lud is a prosperous, bustling little country port, situated at the confluence of two rivers: the Dawl and the Dapple. The latter, which has its source in the land of Faerie beyond the Elfin Marches and the Debatable Hills, is a source of great trial to Lud, which had long rejected such fanciful nonsense as fairies, elves and the like.
Then a perfect plague of faerie influences hits the town, penetrating even to Miss Primrose Crabapple's Establishment for Young Ladies, and it becomes apparent to even the stuffiest burgher that Steps Would Have To Be Taken. Fortunately for everyone, Master Nathaniel Chanticleer, Mayor of Lud, is a man with his head firmly in the clouds ...
Helen Hope Mirrlees (1887-1978) was a British author of novels and poems, whose three novels are Lud-in-the-Mist, Madeleine, and Counterplot, and a book of poetry, Moods and Tensions: Poems. She was one of the Bloomsbury Group and counted among her good friends T. S. Eliot, William Butler Yeats and Virginia Woolf.
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- Publication date:
03 Apr 2008
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The single most beautiful and unjustifiably forgotten novel of the twentieth century — Neil Gaiman
A Shakespearian tragi-comedy, a murder mystery and a multi-faceted allegory all in one; and a damn good story, too — Mary Gentle
What we have here is that rarest of creatures, the fantasy novel of ideas — Michael Swanwick
[involves] fundamental questions of how a society and its members understand their own history, and how they make sense of the conflicts embedded in social class and political power — Mary Beard, TLS