The Weirdstone of Brisingamen.

First Edition of Alan Garner's The Weirdstone of Brisingamen; Inscribed by him to his cousin and goddaughter

The Weirdstone of Brisingamen.



Item Number: 117102

London: Collins, 1960.

First edition of one of the greatest fantasies of all-time. Octavo, original cloth, cartographic endpapers by Charles Green. Association copy, inscribed by the author in the year of publication to his cousin and goddaughter, “For Brenda Alan. 10.x.60.” Near fine in a near fine price-clipped dust jacket. Jacket design by George Adamson.

Garner began work on the novel, his literary debut, in 1957 after he moved into the late medieval house Toad Hall, in Blackden, Cheshire. The story, which took the local legend of The Wizard of the Edge as a partial basis for the novel's plot, was influenced by the folklore and landscape of the neighbouring Alderley Edge where he had grown up. Upon completion the book was picked up by the publisher Sir William Collins who released it through his publishing company Collins in 1960. The novel, set in and around Macclesfield and Alderley Edge in Cheshire, tells the story of two children, Colin and Susan, who are staying with some old friends of their mother while their parents are overseas. Susan possesses a small tear-shaped jewel held in a bracelet: unknown to her, this is the weirdstone of the title. Its nature is revealed when the children are hunted by the minions of the dark spirit Nastrond who, centuries before, had been defeated and banished by a powerful king. The children also have to compete with the wicked shape-shifting sorceress Selina Place and the evil wizard Grimnir, each of whom wishes to possess the weirdstone. Along the way Colin and Susan are aided by the wizard Cadellin Silverbrow and his dwarf companions. “Alan Garner is indisputably the great originator, the most important British writer of fantasy since Tolkien, and in many respects better than Tolkien, because deeper and more truthful. His work is where human emotion and mythic resonance, sexuality and geology, modernity and memory and craftsmanship meet and cross-fertilise. Any country except Britain would have long ago recognised his importance, and celebrated it with postage stamps and statues and street names. But that’s the way with us: our greatest prophets go unnoticed by the politicians and the owners of media empires. I salute him with the most heartfelt respect and admiration" (Philip Pullman).

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