First published in 1914, the King of Alsander is the only novel by James Elroy Flecker, best known as a poet, but also a noted scholar, linguist and diplomat. Flecker's love of learning, language and travel, and his keen satirical insight into politics are all in evidence in this phantasmagoric tale. As the author himself describes it: Here is a tale all romance - a tale such as only a Poet can write for you, O appreciative and generous Public - a tale of madmen, kings, scholars, grocers, consuls, and Jews: a tale with two heroines, both of an extreme and indescribable beauty: a tale of the South and of sunshine, wherein will be found disguises, mysteries, conspiracies, fights, at least one good whipping, and plenty of blood and love and absurdity: a very old sort of tale: a tale as joyously improbable as life itself.
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