Lord Dunsany's first novel, "Don Rodriguez: Chronicles of Shadow Valley conveys its young disinherited protagonist through a fantasized Spain, gifting him with a Sancho Panza companion, good luck with magicians, and a castle" [The Encyclopedia of Fantasy]. It is a landmark tale for Dunsany, beginning his move from the otherworldly short stories for which his reputation is justly famous to novels, such as the follow-up The King of Elfland's Daughter and The Charwoman's Shadow.
L. Sprague de Camp has said: "Dunsany was the second writer (William Morris in the 1880s being the first) fully to exploit the possibilities of . . . adventurous fantasy laid in imaginary lands, with gods, witches, spirits, and magic, like children?s fairy tales but on a sophisticated adult level." But more than this, Dunsany was probably the single greatest influence on fantasy writers during the first half of the 20th century. Lovecraft, in early fiction, like The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, imitated him, and very well. Robert E. Howard, creator of Conan the Barbarian and founder of the popular Sword