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Lud-in-the-Mist (Prologue Fantasy) [Kindle Edition]

Hope Mirrlees
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The book that New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman considers "one of the finest [fantasy novels] in the English language"

Between the mountains and the sea, between the sea and Fairyland, lay the Free State of Dorimare and its picturesque capital, Lud-in-the-Mist. No Luddite ever had any truck with fairies or Fairyland. Bad business, those fairies. The people of Dorimare had run them out generations ago--and the Duke of Dorimare along with them.

Until the spring of his fiftieth year, Master Nathaniel Chanticleer, Mayor of Lud-in-the-Mist and High Seneschal of Dorimare, had lived a sleepy life with his only son, Ranulph. But as he grew, Ranulph was more and more fond of talking nonsense about golden cups, and snow-white ladies milking azure cows, and the sound of tinkling bridles at midnight. And when Ranulph was twelve, he got caught up with the fairies, and Nathaniel's life would never be the same.

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Hope Mirrlees (1887–1978) was an English writer and scholar. She was a friend of Virginia Woolf and T.S. Eliot, part of the Bloomsbury literary circle (Mirrlees's poem Paris has been called by some critics an undiscovered treasure of modernism), and a close friend and collaborator of the great classical scholar Jane Ellen Harrison. She and Harrison divided their time between England and France. She became fluent in French and Russian, and later studied Spanish. Lud-in-the-Mist is her best-known work of fantasy.

Product Details

  • File Size: 439 KB
  • Print Length: 290 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1440543380
  • Publisher: Prologue Books (December 18, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007ZT1KV2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #192,507 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Back in August 2004, when I was preparing a review of "Lud-in-the-Mist" for Amazon, the very good news was that the book was finally back in print. In July 2012, the good news is that now it is also available in digital format from Prologue Books (across several platforms, including Nook and iBook as well as Kindle).

For me, this means having it available on a smartphone, whenever and wherever I want to read it. Yes, along with hundreds of other books (I'm afraid to count), but this is one of those that I like to read at odd moments.

"Lud-in-the-Mist" was first published, to both some incomprehension and some critical success, in the 1920s. It opens with, as an epigraph, a reflection by the author's teacher, friend and sometime-collaborator, the classicist Jane Ellen Harrison, on the otherwise inexpressible longings revealed in myth.

The setting is the land of Dorimare, which is certainly not England, but is something like it; just as the port city of Lud-in-the-Mist on the river Dawl is not exactly the port city of London-in-the-Fog on the river Thames. For one thing, England never had such remarkably *interesting* neighbors as does Dorimare -- at least not across any merely geographical border. Not that the solid, and increasingly stolid, burghers of Lud have any intention of acknowledging Fairyland or its inhabitants.

That nonsense was all done away with in a glorious (but not The Glorious) Revolution, by their brave, revered, but (now) embarrassingly enthusiastic, ancestors, who wiped out the old aristocracy, and chased the last Duke, and the Priests, off to -- well somewhere over the border. These days, the only connection allowed with -- that other place -- is the underground source of the River Dapple, which can hardly be avoided.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars By my great-aunt's rump! July 5, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
The oddness of this story can be detected just by checking out the main character. Most fantasy heroes are not round, stodgy, middle-aged men who are respected pillars of the community.

But Hope Mirrlees' enchanting fantasy "Lud-in-the-Mist" defies many such fantasy cliches, written as if "The Hobbit" had been spun up by Lord Dunsany. It's a sweet pastoral story that slowly blossoms out into a very unique story -- there's a little murder mystery, an amusing village of hobbity people, and a quicksilver dream of beautiful fairyland and otherworldly danger.

Fairy is forbidden in the town of Lud -- not just fairy creatures and their exquisite fruit, but mentions of them, the dead who walk with them, and the Duke Aubrey who left with them.

But all his life, the steadfastly dull Mayor Nathaniel Chanticleer has a lingering longing/fear for a strangely magical musical note. Despite all this, life remains boring and rather pleasant -- until Chanticleer's son Ranulph begins acting strangely, claiming that he's eaten fairy fruit.

After Chanticleer sends his son off to a farm for a vacation, the teenage girls at Miss Primrose's Crabapple Academy suddenly seem to go pleasantly nuts, and then race off into the hills. Life seems to seep out of the old town,and Nathaniel must connect the present crises to a past conspiracy, all of which hinges on Fairyland, fairy fruit, and the sinister doctor Endymion Leer. The journey to discover the truth will take him out of the everyday world -- and change him forever.

Haunting music, mad dancing, and ethereal meadows filled with fairy people and strange flowers. All through "Lud-in-the-Mist," there's the underlying feeling that there's a frightening, exquisite world that is barely separated from ours.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites April 9, 2013
By Cywydd
Format:Kindle Edition
Lyrically written and an amazing story. I read this book at least once a year. I highly recommend this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lud-in-the-mist April 3, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Neil Gaiman highly recommended this book and I am so glad that he had. It is one of my favourites and I love it.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lost in the mist January 27, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It little slow to sart with, but well worth the patience. AN excellent parable. The story never goes quite where you expect it to, which is a nice change in fantasy, which tends to be boringly predictable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Painting in Words January 26, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you love J R R Tolkien, if you reread "The Last Unicorn" and "The Face in the Frost" just for the words and to watch the author's weaving of them, then you will love this book. It is a painting of us that captures the poignant beauty of the everyday as we puzzle through our lives against the backdrop of the rich mysteries all around us. I read this book the first time almost 40 years ago and images and phrases from it come to mind still. It is one of those rare books that can change the way you look at the world.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wanted to like this so much more August 1, 2013
Lud-in-the-Mist is a sleep little town nestled between two rivers and between the sea and the hills that lead to Fairyland. Not much happens there and that's just the way the residents like it. Master Nathaniel Chanticleer has been there the whole 50yrs of his life as part of a very respectable and long established family and foresees ending his days there and having his son, Ranulph, take over the family home when he dies. But then Ranulph starts acting funny and the rumor is that he has partaken of the forbidden fairy fruit. He is sent away for his health but then many of the young girls are similarly afflicted and by the same thing and run off across the hills into the forbidden Fairyland. Throw in a bit of a murder mystery and you have this story in a nutshell.

I wanted to like this so much more than I did. Beautifully descriptive language in a rich world but I found it slow and tedious and the characters predictable with very little growth or true development about them. It was a quaint little tale but I felt like something was missing and the ending was rushed although that may have been because I predicted it at the outset.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars It was OK..sorta..maybe
Really have to say I was a little disappointed in this story. It did not live up to it's reputation or reviews of other authors. Read more
Published 13 days ago by James Thompson
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful stuff
This is one of those books that's so good, it's hard to imagine why it's not number one on the fantasy list. Read more
Published 2 months ago by infrequent
5.0 out of 5 stars I didn't want it to end
It's such a delight to run across a book like this that makes you want to wiggle down in your chair and not stop till it's done. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Anita Sullivan
5.0 out of 5 stars A true treasure!
I had never heard of this book before - shame on me! It is now on my list to recommend to all friends I can label (to myself) as "thinking readers with a sense of humor". Read more
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!
Loved this -- it's beautifully written, nicely allegorical, and a great antidote to the action-heavy fantasy that seems to be the norm these days. I wish I'd found it decades ago!
Published 5 months ago by A. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars A nearly perfect fantasy book, much less known that it deserves
I discovered this old and rare jewel recently and reading it was a quite unique experience. The beauty of this book is not so much in the action, but in the general atmosphere and... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Maciej
2.0 out of 5 stars The devil did I read...
Not quite sure what I read. It wasn't bad but neither was it really good. The description made it seem to be a straightforward work of fantasy but I found it hard to keep track of... Read more
Published 8 months ago by S. Luevano
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantasy classic
I found this book because of a tweet by Neil Gaiman, in which he said it was one of his favourites. It's an older book, written in a style that reminded me very much of a Lang... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Cat
5.0 out of 5 stars How'd I Miss This?
I read a lot of fantasy, and I read ABOUT fantasy, as well. I'm surprised that I never heard of this book until it was offered through BookBub. Best dollar I ever spent. Read more
Published 9 months ago by midwest-lit-lover
2.0 out of 5 stars Still not Sure what I Read
This fantasy was written in the 20's, and I felt it was a rambling tome, full of eloquent description, but not long on plot, and with a unsatisfying ending. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Dave
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