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early 20th century suggestions for adults?

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Showing 1-11 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 11, 2012 4:35:30 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 11, 2012 4:37:20 PM PDT
J. Godsey says:
I'm looking for early fantasy novels for adults, George MacDonald, M. R. James, Lord Dunsany etc..are there any by women? i found mention of Stella Benson...

Posted on Mar 12, 2012 12:02:17 PM PDT
Angela Perry says:
Mary Shelley - Frankenstein. I know it's technically horror, but most of the speculative fiction around the turn the century was pretty dark.

Elizabeth Stuart Phelps / Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward - Beyond The Gates, The Gates Ajar, Within the Gates. Also technically horror, but well written and not well known.

Jane Austin - Fairy Dream, Moonfolk

Laura Benet - Fairy Bread (collected poems)

There's a big list of women writers here, with links to available online copies. I'd scan through them and see if anything strikes your fancy:

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 12, 2012 12:29:34 PM PDT
J. Godsey says:
Thanks! Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward sounds like a fascinating woman too.

Posted on Mar 12, 2012 1:03:55 PM PDT
Ada Davis says:
Andre Norton's Witch World series.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 12, 2012 2:14:09 PM PDT
J. Godsey says:
thanks for the suggestion..but i'm looking for stuff about 80 years older.

Posted on Mar 12, 2012 4:29:42 PM PDT
AmeliaAT says:
Francis Stevens (real name, Gertrude Barrows Bennett). The Heads of Cerberus is, I think, her best known book. Ammy charges for it, but since it's PD, you may be able to get it free from another site. Her books are mostly fantasy, but Heads of Cerberus may be considered more SF. She's definitely in the period you're looking for (very early 20th c.).

Posted on Dec 15, 2012 3:27:03 AM PST
Going by your 80 year or older requirement, C.L. Moore just slips under the door since she started writing in 1931 or so. Although he's obviously male, Abe Merritt certainly qualifies since he started writing prior WWI. Ship of Ishtar is his best known fantasy novel. I'm not familiar with their work but both Naomi Mitchison and Hope Mirrlees started before or during WWI.

Posted on Dec 15, 2012 4:47:12 AM PST
Take a look at the list and the links found here:

Posted on Dec 15, 2012 11:28:31 AM PST
J. Godsey says:
thanks this is great stuff...looks like i have reading to do!

Posted on Dec 15, 2012 12:21:07 PM PST
Bruise Bane says:
Lud-in-the-Mist by Hope Mirrlees. Published in 1926.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 16, 2012 7:16:42 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 16, 2012 7:19:15 PM PST
I second the suggestion of "Francis Stevens." There is a good Wikipedia article ( on her real-life name of Gertrude Barrows Bennett. Her lost-world novel, "Citadel of Fear" (1918) Citadel of Fear by Francis Stevens (Unexpurgated Edition) (Halcyon Classics) in closest to what we think of as mainstream fantasy. There is a good chance that this is due to her (assumed) influence on Abraham Merritt, whose lost-world stories from the 1920s and 1930s definitely had an impact on, e.g., Leigh Brackett, C.L. Moore, Andre Norton, and Marion Zimmer Bradley (to name only women writers).
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Discussion in:  Fantasy forum
Participants:  8
Total posts:  11
Initial post:  Mar 11, 2012
Latest post:  Dec 16, 2012

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