Lud-in-the-Mist by Hope MIrrlees was originally published in 1926. Lud-in-the-Mist is the name of the capital city of the fictional free state of Dorimare, a country which shares a border with Fairyland, just across The Debatable Hills. Centuries ago, under the rule of Duke Aubrey, Fairy things had been part of life and culture in Dorimare. After a violent revolution, a new merchant class took over the country. Duke Aubrey was expelled and all mention of Fairies and Fairy lore became taboo. The smuggling of hallucination-inducing fairy fruit into Dorimare continues, however, behind closed doors. When Nathaniel Chanticleer, the Mayor of Lud-in-the-Mist finds that his son has ingested some of this heinous fruit, the old ways, the traditions and romance of the Fairies can no longer be ignored.
Over the course of the episode, we discuss the methods Mirrlees’ novel has in common with Modernist practice, the various allegorical interpretations that offer themselves throughout the text, and the emergent class politics suggested by her depiction of the fairy folk.
Attebury, Brian, ‘“Make it Old”: The Other Mythic Method’ in The Mirror of the Past, ed. Bogdan Trocha, Aleksander Rzyman, Tomasz Ratajczak (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014)
Mirrlees, Hope, Collected Poems, ed. Sandeep Parmar, (Fyfield Books, 2011)