Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Dunsany's Famous Story Ledger

In the 1919 "new and revised edition" of Edward Hale Bierstadt's Dunsany the Dramatist (originally published in 1917), Bierstadt printed a sample year from Dunsany's record book of what he wrote and when.  Dunsany had sent this sample year, 1912, to Bierstadt in the autumn of 1917, noting "I send you a sample year from the record I have kept of all the tales I have written since the end of 1906." Dunsany readers have been salivating over this record ever since. Here is the transcription, from pages 212-213 of Bierstadt's book (click on the illustration to make it larger). 

Especially intriguing are the tales marked "unpublished." And of course the hints of publication entice the bibliographer, like the entry for "The Food of Death":  "Saturday Review? Some chatty book about the stage; name forgotten and immaterial."  ("The Food of Death" did appear in the Saturday Review of  30 August 1913, and the "chatty book about the stage" was The Era Almanack and Annual for 1913.) One really, really wants to see the whole of this record!  

Oddly, I recently happened upon a reproduction of the handwritten version of this year that Dunsany sent to Bierstadt, reproduced in a periodical just prior to the publication of the new edition of Bierstadt's book. Bierstadt's transcription of Dunsany's handwritten copy of the record is pretty accurate. 

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