Lord Dunsany Poems

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Lord Dunsany
Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany (24 July 1878 – 25 October 1957) was an Anglo-Irish writer and dramatist, notable for his work in fantasy published under the name Lord Dunsany. He was born to one of the oldest titles in the Irish peerage, lived much of his life at perhaps Ireland's longest-inhabited home, Dunsany Castle near Tara, and died in Dublin. Edward Plunkett ("Dunsany") was the son of John William Plunkett, 17th Baron of Dunsany (1853–1899) and his wife Ernle Elizabeth Ernle-Erle Drax, née Burton. From an historically wealthy and famous family, Dunsany was related to many other well-known Irish figures. He was a kinsman of the Catholic Saint Oliver Plunkett, the martyred Archbishop of Armagh. He was notably tall at 6' 4", taking after his mother, a cousin of Sir Richard Burton. The Countess of Fingall, wife of Dunsany's cousin, the Earl of Fingall, wrote a best-selling account of the life of the aristocracy in Ireland in the late 19th century and early 20th century, called Seventy Years Young. His brother, from whom he was estranged, was the noted British naval officer, Admiral The Honourable Sir Reginald Aylmer Ranfurly Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax. Edward Plunkett grew up at the family property (Dunstall Priory) in Shoreham, Kent, and at Dunsany Castle in County Meath. His schooling was at Cheam, Eton and Sandhurst, which he entered in 1896. The title passed in 1899, and Dunsany returned to Dunsany Castle after war duty, in 1901. In 1903, he met Lady Beatrice Child Villiers (1880-1970), youngest daughter of the 7th Earl of Jersey, head of the Jersey banking family, living at Osterley Park, and they were married in 1904. Their only child, Randal, was born in 1906. Beatrice was supportive, and assisted Dunsany in his writing, typing his manuscripts, selecting work for his 1950s retrospective short story collection, and overseeing his literary heritage after his death. Dunsany was a keen hunter and sportsman, and was at one time the chess and pistol champion of Ireland, as well as provider of the local cricket ground near Dunsany Crossroads. He set chess puzzles for journals including The Times (of London), and also invented Dunsany's chess, an asymmetric chess variant which is notable for not involving any fairy pieces, unlike many variants which require the player to learn unconventional piece movements. Dunsany served as an officer in the Coldstream Guards during the Second Boer War, in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in World War I when he was wounded and in the local defence force of both Ireland and the United Kingdom during World War II. Dunsany's fame arose chiefly from his prolific writings, and he was involved with the Irish Literary Revival. Supporting the Revival, Dunsany gave money to the Abbey Theatre, and he moved in Irish literary circles. He was well-acquainted with W. B. Yeats (who rarely acted as editor, but gathered and published a Dunsany selection), Lady Gregory, Percy French, "AE" Russell, Oliver St John Gogarty, Padraic Colum and others. He befriended and supported Francis Ledwidge to whom he gave the use of his library. Dunsany's own work, and contribution to the Irish literary heritage, was recognised through an honorary degree from Trinity College, Dublin. In 1940, Dunsany was appointed Byron Professor of English in Athens University, Greece. In 1957, Lord Dunsany took ill while eating with the Earl and Countess of Fingall, in what proved to be an attack of appendicitis, and died in hospital in Dublin. Lady Beatrice survived him, overseeing his literary legacy until 1970, and their son, Randal, succeeded him to the Barony.

songs from an evil wood

There is no wrath in the stars,
They do not rage in the sky;
I look fr... [read poem]
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