The Book of Wonder is the seventh book and fifth original short story collection of Irish fantasy writer Lord Dunsany, considered a major influence on the work of J. R. R. Tolkien, H. P. Lovecraft, Ursula K. Le Guin, and others. It was first published in hardcover by William Heinemann in November, 1912, and has been reprinted a number of times since. A 1918 edition from the Modern Library was actually a combined edition with Time and the Gods.
The book collects fourteen fantasy short stories by the author.
Lord Dunsany employed the talents of Sidney Sime to illustrate his fantasy short story collections, but The Book of Wonder is unique in that Sydney Sime drew the illustrations first, and Lord Dunsany wrote the tales to incorporate them:
'I found Mr Sime one day, in his strange house at Worplesdon, complaining that editors did not offer him very suitable subjects for illustration; so I said: "Why not do any pictures you like, and I will write stories explaining them, which may add a little to their mystery?"'
Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany (24 July 1878 - 25 October 1957), was an Anglo-Irish writer and dramatist; his work, mostly in the fantasy genre, was published under the name Lord Dunsany. More than ninety books of his work were published in his lifetime, and both original work and compilations have continued to appear. Dunsany's œuvre includes many hundreds of published short stories, as well as plays, novels and essays. He achieved great fame and success with his early short stories and plays, and during the 1910s was considered one of the greatest living writers of the English-speaking world; he is today best known for his 1924 fantasy novel The King of Elfland's Daughter. He was the inventor of an asymmetric version of chess called Dunsany's Chess. Source : Wikipedia
Born and raised in London, to the second-oldest title (created 1439) in the Irish peerage, Dunsany lived much of his life at what may be Ireland's longest-inhabited house, Dunsany Castle near Tara, worked with W. B. Yeats and Lady Gregory, received an honorary doctorate from Trinity College, Dublin, was chess and pistol-shooting champion of Ireland, and travelled and hunted extensively. He died in Dublin after an attack of appendicitis. Source : Wikipedia