Then again, I completely gave up on excusing Stephen Donaldson when I read a passage of his that described something small and glowing with heat as a "glebe"
I knew what a "glede" was; slightly obscure archaic term for a glowing coal or ember, so maybe it's something like that? So I looked it up. It's specifically a very archaic and obsolete variant of glede, from a misspelling centuries ago that virtually no-one has ever used since. And it conveys no different or extra flavour or information than does glede, which is already an unusual and archaic word.
The only point would be to get the reader to go and look up the word - deliberately causing them to break out of the story. Just to show off the author's erudition. That's a cardinal sin for any author, to me.
(Well, apparently there is another meaning of 'glebe', being an area of land given over for the support of a parish priest, but for something to break up into fiery glebes, the mind does boggle)
William Beach Thomas. Some choice quotes dug up in five seconds of googling, from here:
Autos blindes is the French term. They looked like blind creatures emerging from the primeval slime. To watch one crawling round a battered wood in the half-light was to think of 'the Jabberwocky with eyes of flames who came whiffling through the tulgey wood and burbled as it came."
All I saw during this morning was of surpassing charm. A sensitive woman would have enjoyed every moment. Nature and art were combined in investing the spectacle with splendour. The sun rose, blood-red. The shrapnel hung like clouds painted by old masters to hold medieval angels. The horizon glittered like firefly sparks. In spite of the tumult the first songs of spring were twittered in the hedgerow. Good news reached us. All was right in the world.
The second quote was describing a "particularly confusing encounter fought amongst... water-filled mine craters which ended with many casualties and no progress."
Beach Thomas was, of course, watching the battle from a safe distance.