Mervyn Wall (1908-1997)

12 Wall“In Ireland anything may happen to anyone anywhere and at any time, and it usually does.”

The Unfortunate Fursey (1946)

Mervyn Wall (1908-1997) was born in Rathmines, Dublin. He was educated in Belvedere College; Bonn, Germany; and the National University of Ireland where he obtained his B.A. in 1928. After fourteen years in the Civil Service, he joined Radio Éireann as Programme Officer. In 1957 he left Radio Éireann to become Secretary of the Arts Council of Ireland, a position he held until 1975. Widely known during his lifetime as a broadcaster and critic, he is best remembered now for his plays and novels, among them two satirical fantasies set in medieval Ireland, The Unfortunate Fursey (1946) and The Return of Fursey (1948). His book Leaves for the Burning won Denmark’s Best European Novel award in 1952.

Unfortunate CoverNovels and Collections

The Unfortunate Fursey (1946)

The Return of Fursey (1948)

A Flutter of Wings (1974)

Short Stories

“They Also Serve . . . ”

“The Demon Angler”

“Cloonaturk”

Find out more about Irish Writers of the Fantastic.


A Flutter of WingsWhile our deluxe hardback editions of Mervyn Wall’s most beloved novels, The Unfortunate Fursey and The Return of Fursey, are now out of print, we still have available a new hardback edition of his short story collection A Flutter of Wings.

You’ll also find Mervyn Wall in The Green Book. In Issue 2 is Richard Dalby’s “Mervyn Wall: Irish Author and Satirist”, while in Issue 5 there’s an extensive, career-spanning interview with Wall.

Then, of course, there’s our previous blog entry on Mervyn Wall; a short piece on the origins of The Unfortunate Fursey; an article on Wall’s encounter with the founder of modern day witchcraft, Gerald Gardner; and finally a video of a commemorative event held at the National Library of Ireland to celebrate the life and works of Mervyn Wall: Appreciations and Reminiscences.

Advertisements
Mervyn Wall (1908-1997)

Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973)

11 Bowen“In her once familiar street, as in any unused channel, an unfamiliar queerness had silted up; a cat wove itself in and out of railings, but no human eye watched Mrs. Drover’s return.”

 – “The Demon Lover” (1941)

Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973) was born in Dublin. In 1930 she inherited the family estate in Bowen Court, in Co. Cork, where she entertained the likes of Virginia Woolf and Eudora Welty. Her novels, non-fiction, and short stories—such as those in The Cat Jumps and Other Stories (1934) and The Demon Lover and Other Stories (1945)—continue to be read and appreciated today. Her ghostly fiction, which made regular appearances in the anthologies of Cynthia Asquith, is akin to that of Henry James in its psychological probity, but briefer, wittier, and more ironic, with a streak of feline cruelty.

demon loverCollections

The Cat Jumps and Other Stories (1934)

The Demon Lover and Other Stories (1945)

The Collected Stories of Elizabeth Bowen (1980)

Short Stories

“The Cat Jumps” (1929)

“The Apple Tree” (1931)

“The Demon Lover” (1941)

“Pink May” (1945)

“Hand in Glove” (1952)

Find out more about Irish Writers of the Fantastic.


Green Book 09Elizabeth Bowen has featured numerous times in various issues of The Green Book. The first was Issue 4: “Who’s Afraid of ‘The Demon Lover’?: Ireland and the Supernatural in Elizabeth Bowen’s Short Fiction” by Megan Kuster.

Issue 9 contains two pieces by Bowen. The first is her introduction to The Second Ghost Book, a fascinating essay that reveals Bowen’s own thoughts on supernatural literature. the second piece is “Big House”, in which Bowen discusses landed estates in Anglo-Irish literature. In the same issue is Bernice M. Murphy and Edwina Keown’s “Uncanny Irish-American Relations: Elizabeth Bowen and Shirley Jackson”.

Finally, in Issue 10, which is an issue devoted to Lord Dunsany, you’ll find Bowen’s not-so-gentle review of Dunsany’s One Ireland.

Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973)

C. S. Lewis (1898-1963)

10 Lewis“If ever they remembered their life in this world it was as one remembers a dream.”

– The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950)

C. S. Lewis (1898-1963) is widely considered a titan of twentieth-century fantasy, due largely to his “Chronicles of Narnia” novels (1950-56), which commenced with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Though born in Belfast, Lewis is more often associated with Oxford, where he joined the Magdalen College English faculty, and associated with J. R. R. Tolkien and other members of the Inklings literary group. Lewis also explored science fiction in his “Space Trilogy” novels (1938-45), while Christian themes permeate works such as The Screwtape Letters (1942). Lewis is buried at Holy Trinity Church in Headington, Oxford.

9780061715051_1_slideshowNovels

Out of a Silent Planet (1938)

The Screwtape Letters (1942)

That Hideous Strength (1945)

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950)

Prince Caspian (1951)

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1952)

Find out more about Irish Writers of the Fantastic.

 

C. S. Lewis (1898-1963)

Dorothy Macardle (1889-1958)

9 Macardle“It would be strange, indeed, if the vigour and content of the living could not banish the lingering sorrows of the dead.” – The Uninvited (1941)

Dorothy Macardle—historian, playwright, journalist, and novelist—was born in Dundalk, Co. Louth. She was educated at Alexandra College in Dublin where she later lectured in English literature. She is best remembered for her seminal treatise on Ireland’s struggle for independence, The Irish Republic (1937), but also wrote novels of the uncanny, including The Uninvited (1941), The Unforeseen (1946), and Dark Enchantment (1953). She died in Drogheda and is buried in St. Fintan’s Cemetery, Sutton.

Earth-Bound Novels and Collections

Earth-Bound and Other Supernatural Tales (1924)

The Uninvited (1941)

The Unforeseen (1946)

The Dark Enchantment (1953)

Short Stories

“Samhain” (1924)

“The Prisoner” (1924)

“The Portrait of Roisin Dhu” (1924)

“The Venetian Mirror” (1924)

Find out more about Irish Writers of the Fantastic.


Green Book 09In 2016 Swan River Press reprinted Dorothy Macardle’s debut collection Earth-Bound—ghost stories written in both Kilmainham Gaol and Mountjoy Prison—in a lavish, limited edition hardback. This is the first time the book has been reprinted since 1924. With a new introduction by Peter Berresford Ellis, and the addition of stories uncovered in the archives, Earth-Bound and Other Supernatural Tales is the perfect way to rediscover the work of an extraordinary writer.

We’ve also featured Macardle quite extensively in various issues of The Green Book. Issue 7 not only includes a lengthy article on the life and works of Macardle, “A Reflection of Ghosts” by Peter Berresford Ellis, but the same issue reprints two of her poems, “Easter” and “The City”.  In Issue 8 we reprinted a hitherto unpublished short story by Macardle called “The Boys’ Room”, which includes a fascinating introduction by scholar Terri Neil.

Dorothy Macardle (1889-1958)

James Stephens (1880-1950)

8 Stephens“What the heart knows today the head will understand tomorrow.”

– The Crock of Gold (1912)

James Stephens was born in Dublin in 1880. Like many young Irish poets of the early twentieth century, Stephens started his career under the tutelage of A.E.; he dedicated his debut poetry collection, Insurrections (1909), to his mentor. In Irish Fairy Tales (1920, illustrated by Arthur Rackham) and Deirdre (1923), Stephens explored the myths and legends of Ireland. His best remembered books are his Dublin novel The Charwoman’s Daughter (1912) and the philosophical fantasy The Crock of Gold (1912). He died in England in 1950.

136e52e37fb2b8e75873c34b7de2c8d8--wolves-art-illustration-artistsNovels and Collections

The Crock of Gold (1912)

The Demi-Gods (1914)

Irish Fairy Tales (1920)

In the Land of Youth (1924)

Collected Poems (1926)

Find out more about Irish Writers of the Fantastic.


Like Lord Dunsany, James Stephens was involved in the 1916 Easter Rising. His visceral account was later published in a riveting volume called The Insurrection in Dublin (1916), an extract of which was reproduced in Issue 7 of The Green Book. Stephens was also a reader of fantasy literature, and his review of E.R. Eddison’s The Worm Ouroborous (1922) can be found in Issue 8.

James Stephens was also celebrated for his superb poetical recitations, which he did often for BBC Radio. Numerous recordings still survive.

James Stephens (1880-1950)

Lord Dunsany (1878-1957)

7 Dunsany“A man is a very small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.”

– The Laughter of the Gods (1917)

Lord Dunsany (Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett; 1878-1957) published his first collection, The Gods of Pegāna, in 1905. He followed this with more than sixty volumes of critically acclaimed stories, novels, plays, poems, and translations. A big-game hunter and a sportsman, Lord Dunsany was also a soldier and a highly ranked chess-player; and was the Byron Professor of English Literature in Athens in 1940-41. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950.

fc9dc8e8b83c8ce8df3a96b15f7835daNovels and Collections

The Gods of Pegāna (1905)

The Sword of Welleran and Other Stories (1908)

Plays of Gods and Men (1917)

The King of Elfland’s Daughter (1924)

The Curse of the Wise Woman (1933)

Short Stories

“The Highwayman” (1908)

“Idle Days on the Yann” (1910)

“A Night at an Inn” (1916)

“The Three Sailors’ Gambit” (1916)

“The Two Bottles of Relish” (1952)

Find out more about Irish Writers of the Fantastic.


Green Book 10If you’re interested in Lord Dunsany, then you’re in luck! We’ve devoted the entirety of Issue 10 of The Green Book to Dunsany. If you’d like to read the Editorial Note and peruse the contents, please head over to our website.

Issue 7 of The Green Book also featured Dunsany, in particular his role in the 1916 Easter Rising via an extract from his autobiography Patches of Sunlight.

And finally, in Issue 2, we’ve an article from Nicola Gordon Bowe, “Lord Dunsany: Portrait of a Collector”, discussing his contributions to the Irish Arts and Crafts movement.

Lord Dunsany (1878-1957)

Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904)

6 Hearn“The Fairy of Science sometimes touches my ears and eyes with her wand; and then, for a little time, I am able to hear things inaudible, and to perceive things imperceptible. – Kwaidan (1904)

Born on the Greek island of Lefkada, Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904) was brought up in both Ireland and England. At nineteen he emigrated to the United States where he became a journalist, first in Cincinnati and later New Orleans. After a sojourn in the French West Indies, he sailed for Japan in 1890. Hearn wrote extensively about his new homeland, its tales, customs, and religions, acting as a bridge between Japan and the Western world. He died in Tokyo where he is buried under his Japanese name, Koizumi Yakumo.

WRCLIT66914 Collections

In Ghostly Japan (1899)

Shadowings (1900)

A Japanese Miscellany (1901)

Kottō: Being Japanese Curios, with Sundry Cobwebs (1902)

Kwaidan: Stories and Studies of Strange Things (1904)

Short Stories

“Of Ghosts and Goblins” (1894)

“Nightmare-Touch” (1900)

“The Corpse Rider” (1900)

“Mujina” (1904)

“The Story of Mimi-Nashi-Hōïchi” (1904)

“The Dream of Akinosuké” (1904)

Find out more about Irish Writers of the Fantastic.


Insect LiteratureUnfortunately our sole Lafcadio Hearn title, Insect Literature, is now out of print. However, you can still read our blog post on what went in to the making of this much-sought-after volume.

Lafcadio Hearn did, however, feature in a couple issues of The Green Book. In Issue 6 is John Moran’s “Early Influences on Lafcadio Hearn”, while David B. Lurie contributed to Issue 8 “Orientomology   The Insect Literature of Lafcadio Hearn”.

And finally, we’ve one other blog post on Lafcadio Hearn, the reproduction of a letter written by Hearn’s literary executor, Mitchell McDonald.

Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904)