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By Lord Dunsany

Escapists of the area, have a good time! This number of golden-age delusion from well known Irish writer Lord Dunsany is simply the price tag if you're trying to find a fictional portal to move you out of the stresses and lines of lifestyle. From bizarre stories in a Lovecraftian vein to sword-and-steed fable, A Dreamer's stories has anything to fit each reader's taste.

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His arrival in Liverpool is no joyous return of a prodigal son to the land of his forefathers. It only deepens his isolation. While preparing to disembark from the ship, he witnesses a dying sailor being carried ashore and feels himself 舠a stranger in the land舡 (p. 57). The melancholy Irving evokes from Crayon舗s situation as an aimless tourist suggests a feeling of placelessness often associated with American individualism. Crayon舗s alienation is the other side of Emerson舗s self-reliant assertion that 舠Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist舡 (Emerson, The Collected Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, vol.

The source material he gleaned from European travel narratives and early colonial histories would give his manuscript a verisimilitude that added to its popularity. This air of realism was heightened by a promotional stunt Irving pulled off with the help of Henry Brevoort and James Kirke Paulding. In the weeks prior to publication, he published a report in the New York Evening Post that an elderly gentleman by the name of Knickerbocker had wandered off from his lodgings without paying his rent, leaving behind only a collection of papers in manuscript.

In retrospect, the scene seemed prophetic. Later in life, after having established a reputation as the first American man of letters, Irving recalled in an interview how Washington 舠laid his hand upon my head, and gave me his blessing舡 (Williams, The Life of Washington Irving, vol. 1, p. 10; see 舠For Further Reading舡). Three generations after the Revolutionary War, George Washington was revered as the father of our country. Irving likewise was recognized as a founding father of America舗s national literature.

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