The Pendragon Legend

Antal Szerb

translated from the Hungarian by Len Rix
Pushkin Press 2006 [1934]
A book review by Danny Yee © 2013
When Janos Batky, a wandering Hungarian scholar-dilettante, receives an invitation from the Earl of Gwynedd to visit him in his Welsh seat, he is drawn into a world of conspiracy and shadowy figures, involving the ancient mysteries of the Rosicrucians. On the surface this is entirely serious, but we are regularly, if subtly, reminded that Szerb is amusing himself. Similarly, the characters are all consciously presented as genre archetypes: the earl's niece Cynthia and nephew Osborne, the seductress Eileen St Claire, the modern woman Lene, the adventurous Connemaran Maloney, and so forth. And Batky himself displays a fine mix of naivety and ingenuousness.

All this makes The Pendragon Legend a playful romp full of gentle irony, not as frivolous as Oliver VII but far from the sombre Journey by Moonlight.

April 2013

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- Antal Szerb - Oliver VII
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%T The Pendragon Legend
%A Szerb, Antal
%M Hungarian
%F Rix, Len
%I Pushkin Press
%D 2006 [1934]
%O paperback
%G ISBN-13 9781901285895
%P 236pp