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Edward Plunkett, 18th Baron Dunsany

Lord Dunsany (July 24, 1878 - October 25, 1957) was an Irish writer and dramatist. His full name was Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron Dunsany.

Table of contents
1 Biography
2 Writings
3 Writers influenced by Dunsany
4 Bibliography
5 External links


Edward Plunkett was born on July 24, 1878 to John William Plunkett, 17th Baron of Dunsany (1853 - 1899) and his wife Ernle Grosvenor. One of his ancestors was the Roman Catholic Saint Oliver Plunkett, the martyred Archbishop of Armagh. The Countess of Fingall, wife of Dunsany's cousin, the Earl of Fingall, wrote a best-selling account of the life of the aristrocracy in Ireland in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, called Seventy Years Young.

Lord Dunsany was educated at Eton College and Sandhurst. He served as an officer in the Coldstream Guards during the Boer War, and in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in World War I. He was a keen huntsman, and sportsman, and was at one time the chess and pistol champion of Ireland.

His fame arose, however, from his prolific writings of short stories, novels, plays and poetry, reportedly mostly written with a quill pen.


His most notable fantasy short stories were published in collections from 1905 to 1919: he had to pay for publication of the first, "The Gods of Pegana". The stories were set within an invented world, with its own gods, history and geography. His significance within the genre of fantasy writing is considerable.

The following is the opening paragraph of "The Hoard of the Gibbelins" (first published in The Book of Wonder in 1912), which gives a good indication of both tone and tenor of Dunsany's work:

The Gibbelins eat, as is well known, nothing less good than man. Their evil tower is joined to Terra Cognita, to the lands we know, by a bridge. Their hoard is beyond reason; avarice has no use for it; they have a separate cellar for emeralds and a separate cellar for sapphires; they have filled a hole with gold and dig it up when they need it. And the only use that is known for their ridiculous wealth is to attract to their larder a continual supply of food. In times of famine they have even been known to scatter rubies abroad, a little trail of them to some city of Man, and sure enough their larders would soon be full again.

Writers influenced by Dunsany

H. P. Lovecraft was greatly impressed by Dunsany after seeing him on a speaking tour of the United States, and Lovecraft's early stories clearly show his influence.

Fletcher Pratt's 1948 novel The Well of the Unicorn was written as a sequel to Dunsany's play King Argimenes and the Unknown Warrior.


The catalogue of everything that Dunsany wrote during a fifty-year writing career is quite extensive; the following is a partial list compiled from various sources.

Short story collections

The Jorkens books were of a type popular in fantasy and science fiction writing: the gentlemen's club, where extremely improbable tales are related; they consist of:






{| border="2" align="center" |- |width="30%" align="center"|Preceded by:
John William Plunkett |width="40%" align="center"|Baron Dunsany |width="30%" align="center"|Followed by:
Randal Plunkett |}

External links