Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Barringer, Leslie

(1895-1968) UK editor and writer whose Neustria CycleGerfalcon (1927), Joris of the Rock (1928) and Shy Leopardess (1948) – depicts events in a Land of Fable, an imaginary French province in an Alternate World. The basic premise, vaguely presented, is that the Merovingian Dynasty does not split apart circa AD750; instead, Neustria survives, and at the time of the three tales (circa 1400) is still thriving. Each tale follows a young man or woman through physical and moral perils into adulthood (see Rite of Passage). Of the three protagonists, Yolande of Baraine – the Shy Leopardess of the third novel – is perhaps the most interesting, as she successfully gambles her life (her "virtue" does not last the course) to gain autonomy in a male-dominated world. The sequence's alternate-world displacement serves not as an opening for magic but as a freeing of LB's imagination; the Neustria Cycle is far more intense and eloquent than his more straightforward historical novels. [JC]

Leslie Barringer


This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.