THE RETURN OF FURSEY
by Mervyn Wall
Introduction by Michael Dirda
Printings: March 2015 (300)
Cover image by Jesse Campbell-Brown
Style: Dust jacketed hardback
Length: xiv + 241 pages
Out of Print
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"Henceforth I will serve Evil. I’ll become a most depraved character. I’ll turn really wicked." - Fursey
This worthy sequel to The Unfortunate Fursey follows the continued exploits of that reluctant sorcerer Fursey, now a middling grocer in the realm of King Ethelwulf. But when Fursey’s wife is seized by an Irish delegation led by her jilted fiancé, Fursey resolves to embrace evil, return to Ireland, and reclaim his wife. Readers will delight in the return of Fursey’s unhelpful familiar Albert and the Prince of Darkness; plus such memorable new characters as George the Vampire, Sigurd the Skull Splitter, and the wealthy Festus Wisenuts. "The Return of Fursey shows no lessening at all in Wall’s quality of imagination," wrote critic Robert Hogan. "As with the best of Charlie Chaplin, or of Anton Chekhov or O’Casey, the laughter is very akin to high art."
Mervyn Wall (1908-1997) was born in Dublin. He was educated in Belvedere College; Bonn, Germany; and obtained his B.A. from the National University of Ireland in 1928. After fourteen years in the Civil Service, he joined Radio Eireann as Programme Officer. In 1957 he became Secretary of the Arts Council of Ireland, retiring in 1975. Known during his lifetime as a broadcaster and critic, he is best remembered for his plays and novels. His book Leaves for the Burning won Denmark’s Best European Novel award in 1952.
Michael Dirda, a longtime reviewer for The Washington Post, is the author of the 2012 Edgar Award-winning On Conan Doyle. His other books include the memoir An Open Book and several collections of essays, including Readings, Bound to Please, Book by Book, and Classics for Pleasure. In 1993 Dirda received the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism and since then has become a regular contributor to The New York Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement, and several other literary periodicals.
Other Swan River Titles by Mervyn Wall
The Unfortunate Fursey (2015)
The Demon Angler & One Other (2013)
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