How does a fantasy book published nearly 100 years ago stay so original? Were there no imitators? Probably there were, but they just didn't manage to imitate, and nobody could.
Nobody could maintain so precisely the golden balance between the human - so that we would understand, and the magic - so that we would be enchanted.
Dunsany treated every thing and every being in the world he created with respect and compassion. You won't find him dismissive even of "the Freer" and his "Christom religion" founded on cursing all that was touched with magic.
I could try to find other reasons why this book is brilliant, lovely, and enchanting. But perhaps it all boils down to genius and love. I'm actually afraid of reading another book by him - what if it's not this good?