Item description for The Pendragon Legend by Antal Szerb...
The Pendragon Legend, set in London and Wales, is part philosophical thriller, upper-class comedy, murder-mystery, romance and ghost story. Its author, Antal Szerb, wrote in a manner he termed 'the new frivolism', by which serious themes are pursued through more typically lightweight genres.
Antal Szerb was born in 1901 into a cultivated Budapest family of Jewish descent. The Pendragon Legend, his first novel, was written in 1934. Journey by Moonlight appeared in 1937, followed in 1943 by The Queen's Necklace. He died in the forced-labour camp at Balf in January 1945.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 6.38" Width: 4.49" Height: 1.1" Weight: 0.71 lbs.
Release Date Jun 1, 2006
Publisher Pushkin Press
ISBN 190128560X ISBN13 9781901285604
Availability 0 units.
More About Antal Szerb
Antal Szerb was born in Budapest in 1901. Best known in the West as a novelist and short story writer, he was also a prolific scholar whose interests ranged widely across the whole field of European literature. Debarred from a university post by reason of his Jewish ancestry, he taught in a commercial secondary school until increas- ing persecution led to his brutal death in a labour camp, in 1945. Yet the tone of his writing is almost always deceptively light, the fierce intelligence softened by a gentle tolerance, wry humour and understated irony. Pushkin Press's publications of Szerb's work include his novelsJourney by Moonlight, Oliver VIIandThe Pendragon Legend, as well as the short story collectionLove in a Bottleand the historyThe Queen's Necklace."
Reviews - What do customers think about The Pendragon Legend?
Gothic mystery with tones of occult and comedy May 15, 2008
The Pendragon Legend is an Hungarian novel from 1930s, but the story isn't particularly Hungarian. A Hungarian researcher and bibliophile János Bátky is introduced to the Earl of Pendragon and is invited to study the books in his exquisite library. Bátky soon learns that getting involved with the Pendragons can be dangerous: he is threatened by mysterious forces and many strange events happen at the Pendragon manor. Antihero Bátky is an outsider who gets drawn into quite a mess.
The story is a strange mixture of gothic horror story and light comedy. The Earl Pendragon is a gloomy old gentleman and the history of the family features legendary characters. Rosicrucianism plays an important role in the story. The Finnish publisher advertises the book as Da Vinci Code published 60 years before Dan Brown's novel. This is advertising, of course, but the books belong in the same genre.
The Pendragon Legend is a charming story. It's not high literature, but the plot is clever, Bátky is a lovely lead character and the story has a good vibe to it. I also enjoyed the old-fashioned atmosphere of the 1930's England, and the translator did a good job capturing that in the language used. The Pendragon Legend is a tasty mystery with flavours of horror and occult. (Review based on the Finnish translation.)