Voted Top 100 in Books for Children The Princess and the Goblin by George Macdonald Eight-year-old Princess Irene lives a lonely life in a castle in a wild, desolate, mountainous kingdom, with only her nursemaid, "Lootie" for company. Her father the king is normally absent attending to affairs of state, and her mother is dead. Irene has never known about the existence of the goblins which lurk in the underground mines but her nursemaid Lootie does know about them. These goblins are grotesque and hideous beings, who centuries ago were human, but due to various reasons, they were driven underground and became malformed and distorted by their new lifestyle. This caused them to despise the humans above the ground and vow revenge against them. One rainy day the princess is confined to her nursery in boredem and runs upstairs to explore parts of the castle she has never seen. She finds a room at the top of the castle where sits a beautiful old lady, with silver hair but smooth and youthful skin. This lady tells Irene she is her great-great-grandmother. Nobody knows that she lives up there. The great-great-grandmother shows Irene her many pigeons, that live on the castle roof, and whose eggs she eats as her only food source. Then she shows Irene the way back downstairs, knowing her nursemaid will be worried about her. When she gets back, the princess tells Lootie about meeting the great-great-grandmother, but Lootie does not believe her. This makes the princess very upset. The next day she tries to go back and find her great-great grandmother again, but this time she cannot find her way back to the secret room. The next day it has stopped raining and Princess Irene persuades Lootie her nursemaid to take her for a walk outside. They stay out too late, and after dark they are chased by goblins (who only appear on the surface at night, as sunshine repulses them).
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The Princess and the Goblin is a children's fantasy novel by George MacDonald. It was published in 1872 by Strahan & Co.
The sequel to this book is The Princess and Curdie, in which Princess Irene and Curdie are a year or two older, and must overthrow a set of corrupt ministers who are poisoning Irene's father, the king. Irene's grandmother also reappears and gives Curdie a strange gift and a monster called Lina to help his quest. (Quote from wikipedia.org)
About the Author
George MacDonald (December 10, 1824 - September 18, 1905) was a Scottish author, poet, and Christian minister.
Though no longer well known, his works (particularly his fairy tales and fantasy novels) have inspired admiration in such notables as W. H. Auden, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Madeleine L'Engle. C. S. Lewis wrote that he regarded MacDonald as his "master". Picking up a copy of Phantastes one day at a train-station bookstall, he began to read: "A few hours later," said Lewis, "I knew that I had crossed a great frontier." G. K. Chesterton cited The Princess and the Goblin as a book that had "made a difference to my whole existence." Elizabeth Yates wrote of Sir Gibbie, "It moved me the way books did when, as a child, the great gates of literature began to open and first encounters with noble thoughts and utterances were unspeakably thrilling."Even Mark Twain, who initially despised MacDonald, became friends with him, and there is some evidence that Twain was influenced by MacDonald. (Quote from wikipedia.org)
About the Publisher
Forgotten Books is a publisher of historical writings, such as: Philosophy, Classics, Science, Religion, History, Folklore and Mythology.
There was once a little princess whose father was king over a great country full of mountains and valleys. His palace was built upon one of the mountains, and was very grand and beautiful. The princess, whose name was Irene, was born there, but she was sent soon after her birth, because her mother was not very strong, to be brought up by country people in a large house, half castle, half farmhouse, on the side of another mountain, about half-way between its base and its peak. The princess was a sweet little creature, and at the time my story begins was about eight years old, I think, but she got older very fast. Her face was fair and pretty, with eyes like two bits of night sky, each with a star dissolved in the blue. Those eyes you would have thought must have known they came from there, so often were they turned up in that direction. The ceiling of her nursery was blue, with stars in it, as like the sky as they could make it. But I doubt if ever she saw the real sky with the stars in it, for a reason which I had better mention at once.
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Book Description Puffin, 1964. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 140302204