Princess and Curdie Hardcover – Jan 1900
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|Hardcover, Jan 1900||
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About the Author
George MacDonald (10 December 1824 – 18 September 1905) was a Scottish author, poet, and Christian minister. Known particularly for his poignant fairy tales and fantasy novels, George MacDonald inspired many authors, such as W. H. Auden, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, E. Nesbit and Madeleine L'Engle. It was C. S. Lewis who wrote that he regarded MacDonald as his "master": "Picking up a copy of Phantastes one day at a train-station bookstall, I 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." --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
In the time since the defeat of the goblins, Curdie has gone back to his life as a miner. Unfortunately he also begins to stray from the pure actions he showed in the first book, pushing aside thoughts of Princess Irene's grandmother and trying to convince himself that the more supernatural events of "Goblin" were just imagination. Until he needlessly wounds a pigeon with his bow and arrow, and takes it to the stately, mysterious Grandmother.
As Curdie regains his innocence and his faith, the Lady sends him on a quest, with a weird doglike creature called Lina who was once a human. She also (by having him stick his hands into burning roses) makes his hands able to feel a person's soul when he touches them, if a person is "growing into a beast" on the inside. Now Curdie and Lina set off for the capital, where Irene's father is physically ill, and falling prey to the scheming of his sinister officials.
If the first book was Irene's, then this book is undeniably Curdie's. The focus is on him almost constantly through the book, and it's his internal struggles that we are fascinated by. Every person (well, most of them, anyway) eventually loses their childlike faith and innocence, as Curdie has begun to do at the beginning. He's naturally a more skeptical person than Irene, and so time begins to fade whatever he thought he saw; also, being "one of the guys" in the mine requires a seemingly more mature attitude.Read more ›
Princess Irene has gone off to live with her father the King, but something is going very wrong in the kingdom. Curdie, who doubted the Princess' word about meeting her great-great-great-grandmother in the attic in the first book, has done his best to forget all about the supernatural events in that story. But, when he injures a pigeon on a whim, he remembers that pigeons belong to the Lady, and in his remorse he makes his way to that same attic to ask for help. The Lady tells him that some of the people in the kingdom are turning to beasts inside, and gives him a strange travelling companion and the ability to tell whether a person is human or beastly inside by shaking their hand. So, he sets off, and, after many adventures and some clever plans of his own, he manages to save the princess, the king, and the kingdom.
Just as with The Princess and the Goblin, the story is basically a morality tale, but MacDonald's imaginative situations and characterisations keep the book from seeming trite or shallow.
In the process of telling the story, MacDonald entertains a few curious notions rather surprising for a Christian. Especially surprising are the ideas of a mountain being bubbles of heat thrust from the center of the earth (p.2), and the earth being a cooled body that flew off the sun (p.3) ï¿½ ideas more akin to evolutionary thinking than Christian faith in the Biblical teaching about creation. This book is also somewhat different from ï¿½The Princess and the Goblinï¿½ on a literary level, because in this book MacDonaldï¿½s story-telling at times employs vocabulary and sentence structure that is overly complex for children, and at times he waxes overly philosophical.
But those weaknesses aside, itï¿½s a thrilling and captivating story of an exciting quest, enhanced by deeper underlying Christian themes. MacDonald describes the king as ï¿½a real king ï¿½ that is, one who ruled for the good of his people and not to please himself.ï¿½ (p.5).Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This book touches deeply. Kids and adults will relate to "things are not always as they seem" and sometimes walking by faith is the only way to find truth.Published on Oct. 18 2013 by tmr
Great book good imagery; I will always think of how he describes the state of "people" who aren't human anymore.Published on June 7 2013 by Bev Buhler