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The Princess and the Goblin Paperback – Jun 9 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; Reissue edition (June 9 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141332484
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141332482
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 2.1 x 17.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #41,990 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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As always with George MacDonald, everything here is more than meets the eye: this in fact is MacDonald's grace-filled vision of the world. Said to be one of J.R.R. Tolkien's childhood favorites, The Princess and the Goblin is the story of the young Princess Irene, her good friend Curdie--a minor's son--and Irene's mysterious and beautiful great great grandmother, who lives in a secret room at the top of the castle stairs. Filled with images of dungeons and goblins, mysterious fires, burning roses, and a thread so fine as to be invisible and yet--like prayer--strong enough to lead the Princess back home to her grandmother's arms, this is a story of Curdie's slow realization that sometimes, as the princess tells him, "you must believe without seeing." Simple enough for reading aloud to a child (as I've done myself more than once with my daughter), it's rich enough to repay endless delighted readings for the adult. --Doug Thorpe --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


The Puffin Classics series is a perfect marriage of the old and the new. Enjoy some of the best books from the past and find out why and how they inspired some of the best writers of the present -- Julia Eccleshare Lovereading4kids

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
C.S. Lewis has written of encountering a sense of the holy while reading the works of George MacDonald. I agree with Lewis' assessment when it comes to "The Princess and the Goblin." Anyone who reads this book with profit by having done so.
First, and perhaps most importantly "The Princess and the Goblin" is a delightful story. There is a lot of the "just plain fun reading" stuff going on in this story. There is also a lot more.
MacDonald has buried a lot of treasures within the cave walls of his story. If the reader looks carefully as they follow the fates of Irene and Curdie, they will find these jewels just sitting there shining in the darkness, ready to be mined. There are nuggets of wisdom to be gained here in the dialogue, the narration, and in the overall arch of the story.
More than this, MacDonald's story features the best of what was Romantic literature and blends it with the greatest characteristics of fairy tales--then he turns convention on its head. Some examples:
-Whereas in fairy tales wisdom is associated with the old and knowledgeable, wisdom is here associated with innocence.
-While in traditional tales, it is the hero who saves the princess, here the princess must rescue the hero.
-Fans of modern fantasy may be used to Providential Guidance being related to male literary figures such as Tolkien's Gandalf, Lewis' Aslan. Here the figure is Feminine--the Grandmother.
In the process of playing off of and twisting traditional Romantic literature and fairy tales MacDonald manages to transcend both genres and create a truly original work of wonder.
I recommend the "Princess and the Goblin" most highly. Get it today. Just be careful that you don't pick up an abridgment--they tend to rip out the heart of the tale in an attempt to make the text more modern (neutered).
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Format: Hardcover
The Princess and the Goblin

I was well past the age of 50 when I first heard of George MacDonald. What a delight to pick up his fantasies, including the children's fairy tales, and discover myriad treasures in them.

Any good children's book works well at any age level, and MacDonald's stories, like C.S. Lewis's Narnia Chronicles, are layered in such a way that although children can enjoy the simple story, adults can see deeper principles at work. As other reviewers have pointed out, MacDonald's stories contain elements of spiritual mysteries. I actually have excerpts from this story printed out and taped to the wall in my home. They're the part where Princess Irene invites Curdie to meet her great great grandmother, but he can't see the grandmother or any other features of the room that Irene sees. This breaks the princess's heart, but her grandmother consoles her. The grandmother explains that she did not mean to show herself, that the princess must be content not to be believed for awhile, and the grandmother will take care of what Curdie thinks of the princess in the end. Those who have a true faith in God will understand this section, as we ourselves are very often not believed. But we, like the princess, must be understanding and forgiving, and willing to be misunderstood for awhile. Also, the thread that Irene uses to lead her into the mountain (darkness) to rescue Curdie reminds me very much of the leading of the Holy Spirit in a believer's life.
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Format: Paperback
I cant believe I haven't read this untill now, its such a great book! A princess lives in a castle all her life, never knowing of the great dangers that go on in the mountain. One day(being about 7 years old) she finds a stairway in her house that she has never seen and it leads her to her great, great grandmother. After she meets her grandmother she is shown the dangers of the goblins and meets a boy named Curdie who mines in the mountain with his father. Throughout the book Curdie and the princess have many encounters with the goblins. This is a great book I highly recommend it for readers of all ages.
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By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Feb. 23 2007
Format: Paperback
It's a credit to "Princess and the Goblin" that its author was a personal favorite (and shaping influence) to fantasy titans C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. But if their liking for George MacDonald's works isn't enough to impress, then take it just for what it is: A creepy, unique, compelling work of early fantasy.

Little Princess Irene has always been kept in ignorance of the goblins -- until one night when she and her nursemaid stay out a bit too late, and are chased by a bizarre creature. They are rescued by a young miner boy, Curdie, who tells her the way to deal with them.

While mining, Curdie explores underground caverns where the goblins dwell, uncovers a terrible plot -- and is taken captive by the malignant goblin queen. And Irene explores a mysterious tower where her magical "great-grandmother" lives -- not knowing yet that she's at the center of the goblins' plotting, and that Curdie may be her only hope.

Like many early fantasy stories, "The Princess and the Goblin" is a book completely free of cliches. Written in the 1800s, this book has the flavour of a long-forgotten fairy tale that MacDonald simply dug up and presented to the public. We have goblins, monsters, a heroic young boy, a brave princess, noble kings and magical ladies. What else is a fairy tale about?

It's also striking for its mixture of childlike optimism and extraordinary writing. MacDonald often writes some scenes with the sort of twee flavour of many nineteenth-century novels, with chirrupy kids and kindly servants. But he also can whip up some truly amazing atmosphere: exquisite moonlit scenes that play out like dreams, or underground disasters that sound like nightmares.
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