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Princess Irene is an 8 year whose father, the king, is absent, and whose mother is dead. Her only companion is Lottie, her nursemaid (at least until she and Lottie are saved from goblins by the young miner, Curdie). But goblins aren’t the only fantastical element of this novel. One rainy day, Irene comes across a beautiful lady that says she’s her great-great-grandmother. Not only must she figure out the story behind her great-great-grandmother, she has to avoid the sinister plan of the goblins to kidnap her and marry her to Harelip, their prince.
George MacDonald is an influential, although often underrated (if not forgotten) figure of fantasy literature. While he was originally minister of Trinity Congregational Church, his sermons were not well received. His salary was quickly cut and he lasted just 3 years in the position. After leaving as minister, he turned to writing fantasy in order to provide for his family. The publication of works such as Phantastes, The Princess and the Goblin, and At the Back of the North Wind have all culminated in him being considered the founding father of modern fantasy.
“I write, not for children but for the child-like, whether they be of five, or fifty, or seventy-five.” – George MacDonald
MacDonald has been influential to the great fantasy authors that followed in his footsteps: J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, C.S. Lewis – even Lewis Carroll, whom he helped publish his own masterpiece, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
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