There's a tendency, I think, to take Moorcock for granted because he has produced so much. 'Too much' as people say who mean they can't imagine reading it all. Yet what is unique about Moorcock is not his phenomenal output (Edgar Wallace and Barbara Cartland both easily break his record) but the extraordinary quality most of it retains. When you think of what he has turned out in the past few years, apart from Gloriana, you realise it includes some of the best books you have read in the past couple of decades! This book won the World Fantasy Award when that award was worth winning and it deserves all the awards and praise. Peter Ackroyd was a great enthusiast for the book and his own fiction carries odd echoes of Gloriana, not least a Platonic London and Judge Dee. For me this is the only peer to Peake and it seems to have been dedicated to Peake, so obviously Moorcock was writing a conscious tribute. Quire in his own way is as good and as complex a villain as Steerpike and Gloriana is a wonderful heroine, symbol of Britain (Albion) on one hand and complex, yearning woman on the other. There isn't a character who isn't fully drawn or a scene which doesn't have the richness and atmosphere of an Old Master. This book wasn't originally published in the fantasy genre and I think like Peake and T.H.White it belongs outside the general run. Moorcock's chief influences are German Romantics and French Existentialists, rather than genre writers, and these are enjoyed at their best in this gripping tale of blood, hate and high ideals. This should be the BBC's next epic. It's very sexy, too, in places! Feel the quality, feel the width. This is a gripping tale told on a rich and complex tapestry.