The Collected JorkensThe Collected Jorkens
by Lord Dunsany

Stamped cover art by Sidney Sime

Limited Editions, 3 Volume Set - $250.00
Fine, w/o dj as issued; new and unread, direct from the publisher

Night Shade Books, 2003-2005

The Collected Jorkens is a three-volume omnibus collection of fantasy short stories by author Lord Dunsany. The first volume comprises The Travel Tales of Mr. Joseph Jorkens, first published in London by G. P. Putnam's Sons in April, 1931 (and then in the USA), and Jorkens Remembers Africa, first published in New York by Longmans, Green & Co. in 1934 (and then in the UK). The second volume gathers the third and fourth books of Dunsany's Jorkens tales, with two previously uncollected pieces. These books, Jorkens Has a Large Whiskey and The Fourth Book of Jorkens were originally published in 1940 and 1947 respectively (the latter's 1948 USA edition from Arkham House was for many years the only Jorkens volume widely available). The third volume gathers the fifth and sixth books of Dunsany's Jorkens tales, with three previously uncollected pieces, including the last Jorkens story written. The books, Jorkens Borrows Another Whiskey and The Last Book of Jorkens were originally published in 1954 and 2002 respectively (the latter, prepared for publication around 1957, and only discovered in 2001, was published in a limited edition, with an introduction explaining its origins - not reproduced in the omnibus volume). The fifth book brought one key story in which Jorkens is joined by his most frequent adversary, Terbut, while the sixth book contains two stories written as late as 1957 (February and August); the author died in October 1957.

All three volumes were issued as leatherette-bound hardbacks, with stamped cover illustrations by Sidney Sime and no dust jackets.

The Jorkens stories are "told" in the setting of a London gentleman's or adventurers' club of which the title character and the narrator are members, and usually open with another member mentioning an interesting experience he has had; this rouses Jorkens, who in return for a whisky-and-soda goes the other member one better with an extraordinary tall tale, supposedly from his own past. His stories often tip well over the boundaries of the plausible, into the realms of fantasy, horror, or even science fiction, and his auditors can never be quite sure what proportion of what he relates was truly experienced and to what degree he might have embellished.

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