From an innovative tale by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe to influential works by H. P. Lovecraft, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and H. G. Wells, this anthology traces the rise of modern fantasy during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Linked by the concept of dreams and imagination, these twenty-three tales were created by writers who inspired storytellers such as J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and other master fantasists. Featured stories include a fable by Edgar Allan Poe, a tall tale by Lafcadio Hearn, and Alfred Tennyson's evocative journey to Camelot in "The Lady of Shalott." A gripping tragedy by Edith Nesbit, “The Poor Lovers” is reprinted here for the first time since its initial publication. Other selections include an allegorical fairy tale, “The Golden Key,” by George MacDonald; an episode from William Morris's retelling of the Icelandic epic Völsunga Saga; and a memorable chapter, «The Piper at the Gates of Dawn,” from Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows. Anthologist Mike Ashley offers an informative preface and brief introductions to the stories about the authors' roles in the development of modern fantasy.