The Pendragon Legend
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The Pendragon Legend

by Antal Szerb
Release date: 1934
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: fantasy

Original title: A Pendragon legenda. Translated in English in 2006 by Len Rix. Cover illustration: Rorschach13 by Luca Pagliari.

At the end-of-London-season soirée, the young Hungarian scholar-dilettante Janos Bátky is introduced to the Earl of Gwynedd, a reclusive eccentric who is the subject of strange rumours. Invited to the family seat, Pendragon Castle in North Wales, Bátky receives a mysterious phone-call warning him not to go. But he does, and finds himself in a bizarre world of mysticism and romance, animal experimentation, and planned murder. His quest to solve the central mystery takes him down strange byways – old libraries and warehouse cellars, Welsh mountains and underground tombs. The Pendragon Legend, Szerb’s quintessential amalgamation of the romantic, the mystical and the transcendental is a Pushkin Press bestseller.

Antal Szerb was born in 1901 into a cultivated Budapest family of Jewish descent. Graduating in German and English, he rapidly established himself as a prolific scholar, publishing books on drama and poetry, studies of Ibsen and Blake, and histories of English, Hungarian, and world literature. His first novel, The Pendragon Legend, was written in 1934. Journey by Moonlight appeared in 1937, followed in 1943 by The Queen’s Necklace and various volumes of novellas. He died in the forced-labour camp at Balf in January 1945.

(updated 2017-01-16)

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