abstract illustration of Princess Irene with a forest backdrop

The Princess and the Goblin

by George MacDonald

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Summary

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Although George MacDonald wrote The Princess and the Goblin primarily for children, his fantasy continues to delight readers of all ages. It is the story of two young people who grow in maturity and spiritual development as they thwart the evil plans of goblins. MacDonald's book contains the elements of good story telling—an exciting, well-paced plot and believable characters, who have human weaknesses as well as strengths.

The twentieth-century English poet, W. H. Auden, called MacDonald's technique "dream realism" and honored The Princess and the Goblin as "the only English children's book in the same class as the Alice books." Unquestionably MacDonald employed fantasy as a way of presenting the Christian spiritual concepts of faith and love. But MacDonald's marvelous story, with its fusion of fantasy and realism, is so original that it appeals to the imagination rather than to analytical faculties, letting the reader experience his spiritual message at a deep psychological level. These qualities led C. S. Lewis to observe that MacDonald's art is essentially the art of myth-making.

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