Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Morley, Christopher

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(1890-1957) US editor and writer, active as an author for nearly 50 years after the publication of his first book, The Eighth Sin (coll 1912), which is poetry. His first novel of fantasy interest is Where the Blue Begins (1922; 1925 edn illus Arthur Rackham), a Beast Fable of considerable subtlety set in a Long Island and New York entirely populated by dogs; the narrative is absolutely deadpan, and the mild Satire involved is imparted without the slightest condescension. Thunder on the Left (1925) is a Timeslip tale whose direction is, unusually, forward in time. Its protagonist, aged 10, is sent as a "spy" into the future, where as an adult with a child's Perception of the new world he comes close to losing his innocence (> Et in Arcadia Ego); but he returns safely, cajoled into doing so by the Ghost of his dead sister. Pleased to Meet You (1927) is a Ruritanian romance set in the country of Illyria in post WWI Europe. The Trojan Horse (1937) is another satire, placing a contemporary drama in 1185BC. Perhaps partly because of his wit and fluency, CM was often accused of unseriousness; he is much undervalued. [JC]

other works: The Haunted Bookshop (1919), a spy story set around the travelling bookshop featured in Parnassus on Wheels (1917), the two being CM's most famous titles; The Arrow (1927 chap; exp vt The Arrow and Two Other Stories coll 1927 UK); The Swiss Family Manhattan (1932).

Christopher Darlington Morley


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.