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Phantastes, by George MacDonald
Post Date:
2016-10-23 12:15:13

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by George MacDonald

Phantastes: A Faerie Romance for Men and Women is a fantasy novel written by George MacDonald, first published in London in 1858. Its importance was recognized in its later revival in paperback by Ballantine Books as the fourteenth volume of the celebrated Ballantine Adult Fantasy series in April 1970.
This was the first prose work published by MacDonald. Because of its limited financial success, MacDonald saw himself forced to turn to writing realistic novels. Phantastes, however, exerted a strong influence on fantasy authors of later generations: for example, C. S. Lewis in his book Suprised by Joy claimed that his imagination had been “baptized” by reading it.
The story centers on the character Anodos (“pathless” or “ascent” in Greek) and takes its inspiration from German Romanticism, particularly Novalis. The story concerns a young man who is pulled into a dreamlike world and there hunts for his ideal of female beauty, embodied by the “Marble Lady”. Anodos lives through many adventures and temptations while in the other world, until he is finally ready to give up his ideals. In its themes and overall storyline, Phantastes is a kind of dry run for MacDonald’s later novel Lilith.

About MacDonald:
George MacDonald (10 December 1824 — 18 September 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. For instance 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 disliked MacDonald, became friends with him, and there is some evidence that Twain was influenced by MacDonald.


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* Reading Anywhere – No internet needed
* Easy Navigation – Well organized chapters
* Customizable Reading Experience – Adjustable fonts, size, text and background colors
* Night Mode – For reading in dimly lit environments
* Bookmarks – Bookmark your favorites chapters and reading progress
* Restore Last View – When re-launched, you’re returned to the exact location you were last at while reading

More and more features will be added into future updates.


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