E.R. Eddison and David Lindsay

At the age of ten my teacher told me to pick a book from the basket. Perhaps it was this new vista of choice that started it all off. It was a green book with little snow capped mountains, recommended by a friend.

the hobbit

At the age of sixteen another friend recommend I read ‘The Hobbit’ and because I was the luckiest boy in the world I had the joy of rediscovering Tolkein’s classic.

Lord of the Rings followed. I am eternally grateful to Providence for this but even more grateful to Mr Whittaker who on hearing me rave about Tolkein’s saga, gave me The Worm Ouroborous.

The Worm Ouroborus

Ouroborous and the other three connected works have lit the darkness with few rivals since that first late night love affair.

I read Peake’s ‘Gormenghast ‘and still remember the delicious excitement of waiting with Steerpike in the little cell buried in the Castle, just before his great voyage to the roof tops. Nevertheless that wondrous work of fantasy will always be eclipsed by Eddison.

Vance, brilliant, Peake beautiful, Lewis, fun to read, Burroughs exciting, Le Guin quite wonderful but the only one to rock the fantastical house into the neighbour’s garden apart from Eddison, is David Lindsay. And then only ‘A Voyage to Arcturus’

David Lindsay

That leaves me with five fantasy books to fill the grave of eternity. Still I want no more.