Friday, January 31, 2014

Lord Dunsany’s Old Brown Coat

When reading about Lord Dunsany I visualized Downton Abbey, because that was the life he lived as a lord of a manor in Ireland. Beyond being titled, he was also a prolific author. He mostly wrote fantasy, and among his many other interests (like hunting) he kept quite busy writing.

Lord Dunsany’s full name was the jaw-cracking Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett. No wonder he wrote under his title and not his birth name.

“The Old Brown Coat” is a short-short story, originally published in 1919, and reprinted by editor Damon Knight in the 1951 science fiction digest, Worlds Beyond. It is the type of story that begins with an odd situation, in this case an old brown coat going for a fabulous price at an auction, and then an ending that comes right out of left field.

Lord Dunsany, born in 1878, died in 1957.

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