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The next excerpt from Beatrice Allen Page’s unpublished manuscript, Still Life with Figures:

“Took a picnic lunch and The Last Unicorn out to the end of the Point. Glad of the overcast sky that made it possible to read outdoors. Was so enchanted with the book that I forgot to eat my sandwich, forgot about time, and read it right straight through.

Good fantasy is rare. To be able to sustain it for a full-length book without once faltering into the banal, the heavy-handed or the coy, is even more rare. Beagle’s easy style with its imagery, it unexpected twists of phrase that give one a little shock of delight, carries his imaginative story as easily as an air current carries a bird with outstretched wings.

When I closed the book I found myself catching glimpses of unicorns in the combers off the Point. The interesting thing was, though, that when I dismissed the unicorns and brought my attention back to the real world, to the actual combers, I saw them much more vividly than I had before I had entered the fantasy world. Even more interesting was that instead of feeling after my temporary ‘escape’ from real life that reality was all the harder to bear, I felt that if real life were suddenly to deal me an unexpected blow, I’d be better able to stand up to it than before reading the book. It makes me realize more and more that my mind needs to be let off its leash and given a chance to rollick a bit.”

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