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Aladore is a classic allegorical fantasy novel written by English poet Henry Newbolt. It was first published in hardcover by William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh, in 1914.[1] An American edition from E. P. Dutton & Company, followed in 1915.[2] The first paperback edition was issued by the Newcastle Publishing Company as the fifth volume of the Newcastle Forgotten Fantasy Library in September, 1975; this edition was reissued by Borgo Press in 1980.[1] The book has been translated into German.[1]

Aladore
Aladore.jpg
Cover of first edition
AuthorSir Henry Newbolt
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
GenreFantasy novel
PublisherWilliam Blackwood and Sons
Publication date
1914
Media typePrint (Hardback)
Pages362 pp.

Contents

Plot summaryEdit

The story takes the form of a quest exploring in allegorical fashion the qualities of youth, duty, self and heritage. Ywain, a knight bored with his administrative duties, abandons his estate to his younger brother and goes on a pilgrimage to seek his heart's desire. Following a will-o'-the-wisp resembling a child, he is led to a hermit dwelling in the wilderness, under whose instruction he lives for a time. Afterwards his quest takes him to the city of Paladore (also the subject of a separate poem by Newbolt) and the lady Aithne, half-fae enchantress and daughter to Sir Ogier of Kerioc and the Sidhe-descended Lady Ailinn of Ireland, whom he woos and encounters on various occasions.

In the course of his adventures he intervenes in the strife of the two warring Companies of the Tower and of the Eagle, afterward feasting with both in Paladore; he undertakes the Three Adventures, of the Chess, the Castle of Maidens, and the Howling Beast; visits the City of the Saints and the Lost Lands of the South; sojourns with Fauns; and has a vision of Paladore’s counterpart, the city of Aladore, which he afterwards seeks.

After revisiting the hermit and Paladore, he achieves his objective, and he and Aithne are wed there. In a subsequent return to Paladore Ywain finds he has wearied of it, is mishandled by the Great Ones of the city, and is “excommunicate after the Custom of Paladore.” Wondering at the likeness and contrast of the two cities, he and Aithne wonder which is the more enduring, and test the question by building two sand castles on the shore. Ywain’s, built with his hands as a stand-in for Paladore, is swept away by the tide, while Aithne’s, created from a song in representation of Aladore, is preserved. They then return to the mortal city, and appear to perish in a final battle.

Critical receptionEdit

John Clute described Aladore as "clearly indebted in style and tone to William Morris, but with a dreamlike chamber-music air of its own.[3]

CopyrightEdit

The copyright for this story has expired in the United States, and thus now resides in the public domain there. The text is available via Google Book Search.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Aladore title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
  2. ^ First American edition at Google Books
  3. ^ "Newbolt, Sir Henry", The Encyclopedia of Fantasy, John Clute & John Grant, ed., p.681