An amazing fairy-tale fantasy novel by Hope Mirrlees from 1926.

Do adult need fairy tale ?

Where is the adventure in the second half of life ?

Can we who banished the fairies with every-day rationality truly live without them ?

By the golden apple of the west, what is fairy fruit ?

Politics & law in a post-fairy land ?

The pace is without rush, entering a new realm that one has no control. Enjoy peeping into lives of every day Lud-in-the-mist city, and its hilly mountains, swamps and rivers, everything between and beyond. One of strangely nicest fairy tale books for adults from almost a hundred years ago.

Some interesting quotes

“In the old days Dorimare had been a duchy, and the population had consisted of nobles and peasants. But gradually there had arisen a middle-class. And this class had discovered – as it always does – that trade was seriously hampered by a ruler unchecked by a constitution, and by a ruthless, privileged class”

“…it is never safe to classify the souls of one’s neighbors; one is apt, in the long run, to be proved a fool. You should regard each meeting with a friend as a sitting he is unwillingly giving you for a portrait — a portrait that, probably, when you or he die, will still be unfinished. And, though this is an absorbing pursuit, nevertheless, the painters are apt to end pessimists. For however handsome and merry may be the face, however rich the background, in the first rough sketch of each portrait, yet with every added stroke of the brush, with every tiny readjustment of the ‘values,’ with every modification of the chiaroscuro, the eyes looking out at you grow more disquieting. And, finally, it is your own face that you are staring at in terror, as in a mirror by candle-light, when all the house is still.” 

“But respect for the Law, and the belief that though everything else may turn out vanity and delusion, the Law has the terrifying solidity of Reality itself, were deep-rooted”

“You may, perhaps, have wondered why a man so full of human failings, and set in so unheroic a mould as Master Nathaniel Chanticleer should have been cast for so great a role. Yet the highest spiritual destinies are not always reserved for the strongest men, nor for the most virtuous ones.”

“I doubt whether initiation ever brings happiness. It may be that the final secret revealed is a very bitter one… or it may be that the final secret had not yet been revealed”

“He who rides the wind needs must go where his steed carries him,”

“All of us, that’s to say those of us who had parts to play, seemed to be living each others’ dreams or dreaming each others’ lives, whichever way you choose to put it, and the most incongruous things began to rhyme – apples and bleeding corpses and trees and ghosts. Yes, all our dreams got entangled.”

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