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Old 01-21-2022, 06:39 PM   #1
GrannyGrump
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Blackwood, Algernon: A Prisoner in Fairyland. v1. 22 Jan 2022

Subtitled “The Book that ‘Uncle Paul’ Wrote,” this is somewhat of a sequel to The Education of Uncle Paul, in which the protagonist wrote a book with this title.

This is the story of a wealthy retiree’s return to the wonderful imaginative world of his youth, and to his early dream — “the desire to be of use to others. To help his fellow-kind was to be his profession and career.” Now, the world is troubled and people have become “wumbled” (confused, uncertain). He finds himself adventuring with his cousin’s children, who decide they must unwumble everyone by sprinkling stardust around the world. The stardust can be found in the Star Caverns beyond Orion, and they can get there by way of the Starlight Express.

“One wishes everybody to read this book, but one hesitates to dissect or explain it too much, from a vague fear of losing one’s own hold on the half-real creations and perhaps forfeiting one’s seat in the Starlight Express which is waiting every night for those who will take it.”
(— The Outlook, xxx 1914)

“… The streak of genius in it is unmistakable. It has the madness of dreams, the wildness, and the largeness.”
(— 1913 review, The Spectator)

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One of the foremost British writers of supernatural tales in the twentieth century, Algernon Blackwood (1869–1951) wrote stories in which the slow accumulation of telling details produced a foreboding atmosphere of almost unendurable tension. Though he wrote a number of horror stories, his most typical work seeks less to frighten than to induce a sense of awe. The literary critic S. T. Joshi stated, “His work is more consistently meritorious than any weird writer’s except Dunsany’s.”

Blackwood’s literary renown began in 1908 with the publication of a highly successful collection of stories, John Silence — Physician Extraordinary, featuring a “psychic doctor.” His two best known stories are probably “The Willows” and “The Wendigo”.

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A Prisoner in Fairyland, by Algernon Blackwood (1869–1951), was first published in 1913. This ebook is in the public domain where copyright is “Life+70” or less, and in the USA.
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