Antal Szerb was born in Budapest in 1901. Best known in the West as a novelist and short story writer, he was also a prolific scholar whose interests ranged widely across the whole field of European literature. Debarred from a university post by reason of his Jewish ancestry, he taught in a commercial secondary school until increas- ing persecution led to his brutal death in a labour camp, in 1945. Yet the tone of his writing is almost always deceptively light, the fierce intelligence softened by a gentle tolerance, wry humour and understated irony. Pushkin Press's publications of Szerb's work include his novels Journey by Moonlight, Oliver VII and The Pendragon Legend, as well as the short story collection Love in a Bottle and the history The Queen's Necklace.