The Song of the Skylark

by Antoine-Louis Duclaux, Comte de l’Estoille
writing as “A. de l'Estoille” 
Translated by Brian Stableford

Cover by Michel Borderie

Liberty the Master has given to the entire earth; sing the sacred hymn to everyone, but to the Gauls, sometimes sing the Song of the Skylark.

US$ 24.95 /GBP 19.99
5x8 tpb, 324 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1-64932-017-9

The Song of the Skylark (1880) is quite uncategorizable, defying classification as a novel, yet its complexity stretching the notion of a book-length “poem in prose”. It is unique in the annals of French literature, although it has certain affinities with Edgar Quinet’s Merlin the Enchanter (1860), which similarly attempts to fuse a transfiguration of the author’s own life-story with a fakeloristic pseudohistory of France. centered on the historical fantasy Vercingétorix in which the author attempts to reconfigure episodes reported in Julius Caesar’s Commentarii de Bellio Gallico into a pseudohistory and imaginary prehistory of Gaul, one that inxcludes an idiosyncratic theory of serial reincarnation.

However puzzling L’Estoille’s work might be in its strangeness and unorthodoxy, however, it is certainly not lacking in sanity, and its pathos is highly effective. It is a pity that it was so neglected at its time of publication, and it is fully deserving of the modern reappraisal that its reappearance in the twenty-first century permits.

THE SONG OF THE SKYLARK (La Chanson de l'Hirondelle, 1880)
Part One: The Statue
Part Two: The One Who is to Come
Part Three: The Harvester