September 10th, 2006

bookies

Book: Lud-in-the-Mist

Author: Hope Mirrlees

Details: (c) Hope Mirrlees 1926; Pub Millennium Fantasy Masterworks (Gollancz) 2000; ISBN 1 85798 767 5

Verdict: Lud-in-the-mist is a highly readable fantasy from before the genre conventions were established.

Reasons for reading it: There was a kerfuffle some while back on LJ where feminists were getting angry with some critic for being insufficiently admiring of Mirrlees. And enough people with good taste enthused about her to convince me that she's really important, not just to feminists or worse, tokenists who need some women&minorities for their lists of greats. I have a feeling papersky was one of the people raving about Mirrlees, but I'm not sure of that.

How it came into my hands: The marvellous Oxfam Books in Cambridge when I was visiting this summer.

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I think people who are wildly enthusiastic about Jonathan Strange & Mr Norell would also be wildly enthusiastic about Lud-in-the-Mist. It has very similar strengths, though it isn't nearly so long! And it's very interesting to read fantasy that is absolutely independent of Tolkien, neither trying to imitate him nor reacting against him.
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