Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, 18th Baron of Dunsany (/dʌnˈseɪni/; 24 July 1878 – 25 October 1957) was an Irish writer and dramatist, notable for his work, mostly in fantasy, published under the name Lord Dunsany. More than eighty books of his work were published, and his oeuvre includes many hundreds of published short stories, as well as successful plays, novels and essays.
Born 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.
Behind the Mythos
Dunsany is almost always referenced when people critique Lovecraft's Dreamlands stories, in particular the influence on Lovecraft of not only Dunsany's style but also his naming conventions. There is also a somewhat aimless dream-like quality to Dunsany's works which of course the Dreamlands in Lovecraft's writings overtly imitates. Dunsany also populated his fantasy worlds with odd and sometimes oddly indistinct gods of various types and this is another major influence on Lovecraft- leaving out details of something central to a story and instead describing it by its effect on those over whom it holds some form of ensorcellment or hypnotic effect. There is also a race of goblin men similar to the zoogs of Lovecraft's Dreamlands in the Dunsany stories that preceded them.