From the moment that you enter the world (should you ever have that misfortune), your immediate concern will be to find a companion, and when you have done so you will believe that you have found yourself. You will discover a hitherto unimagined interest and value in all your actions, thoughts and memories, since you think to share them with another. Only gradually will you discover that it is impossible to do this wholly; that speech often obscures and sometimes conceals our thoughts; that the fictitious contacts of the flesh give an ecstasy which is poignant chiefly in that it reminds us of the incommunicable solitude of our souls.

A powerful Enchanter, Aldebaran, discoverer of the precious Elixir of Eternal Youth, is tired of playing with the lives of men and retires to his beautiful kingdom located on the path between the earth and the moon. There, he passes his time educating his beautiful daughter, Melusine, in the intricate profession of sorcery; his only worry is that she should never experience the misery of the mortal world.

Melusine, like most children, is deaf to her father's cautionary words and longs to see life on the mysterious planet at the end of the moon path. One day she disobeys Alderbaran and uses her magic powers to descend to Earth, landing in the peculiar kingdom ruled by the Emperor Eminondas. Melusine's uncommon beauty causes stir among the royals and courtiers, and she soon finds herself entangled in complicated triangles and love intrigues. Unaccustomed to the etiquette and politics of the court, Melusine uses her magic powers to aid her pilgrimage among humans, but what worked well in the kingdom of her father results in some unexpected complications in the earthly empire.

These Mortals
, first published in 1925, tells an enchanting tale of Melusine's strange incursion into the world of humans where she experiences, for the first time, feelings of love, jealousy and loneliness. These Mortals written with charm and humour is a truly enjoyable parable which explores, through fantasy and gentle mockery, some of the ever-puzzling paradoxes of human behaviour.




Used availability for Margaret Irwin's These Mortals

Hardback Editions

December 1952 : UK Hardback
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Title: These Mortals
Author(s): Margaret Irwin
ISBN: 0-7011-0850-9 / 978-0-7011-0850-2 (UK edition)
Publisher: Chatto & Windus
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

March 2014 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
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Title: These Mortals
Author(s): Margaret Irwin
Publisher: Bloomsbury Reader
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA