The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald (1872)
The Princess and the Goblin (1872)
George MacDonald
MacDonald's second full length fairy tale.

George MacDonald (1824-1905) - a Scottish Victorian novelist - was well-read and revered by an impressive selection of literary figures. CS Lewis, CK Chesterton, JRR Tolkien, Madeleine L'Engle and Mark Twain (who apparently initially disliked MacDonald but ultimately became his friend) have all cited MacDonald as being a large influence on their own work. His lecturing and views brought him wide recognition and respect. MacDonald wrote over 50 books, including, poetry, novels, short stories, fantasy, sermons and essays. Many of his novels were part autobiographical and focused on his upbringing and life in Scotland.

The prolific author started his career as a clergyman but that was short-lived as some of his views preached from the pulpit were ill received. It was at this time that he switched focus and began to write full time. MacDonald is most famously known for his fantasy novels: The Princess and the Goblin, Lilith, Phantastes and At the Back of the North Wind and his fairy tales such as The Wise Woman, The Light Princess and The Golden Key. MacDonald famously stated that "I write, not for children, but for the child-like, whether they be of five, or fifty, or seventy-five." MacDonald can be credited for convincing Lewis Carroll to submit his Alice's Adventures in Wonderland manuscript for publication after sharing the story with MacDonald's children. In return, Carroll - a noted photographer of his time - took pictures of MacDonald's children. The influence MacDonald had on the literary world is immeasurable.

MacDonald passed away in 1905 and interest in his work started to wane and many of his books went out-of-print. At the centenary of his birth in 1924, a brief uptake in interest in his work resulted in some new titles including the first major biography of his life, George MacDonald and His Wife, written by his son, Greville MacDonald.

AbeBooks offers an immense selection of highly collectible copies of George MacDonald's best work.

A Selection of George MacDonald's Work

Phantastes (1858)

A fantasy novel that focuses on a young man who is pulled into a dreamlike world and hunts for his ideal of female beauty.
David Elginbrod (1863)
David Elginbrod

MacDonald's first real success, a novel of Scottish country life which effectively challenged 19th-century materialism.
The Portent (1864)
The Portent

One of MacDonald's tales of the supernatural - set in England and Scotland.
Alec Forbes of Howglen (1865)
Alec Forbes of Howglen

First published in 1865 and is primarily concerned with Scottish country life.
Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood (1867)
Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood

Autobiographical hints of MacDonald's outlook as a young pastor.
Dealings with the Fairies (1867)
Dealings with the Fairies

Includes five fairy tales about a princess, brothers and sisters, and the Queen of Fairyland.
Unspoken Sermons (1867)
Unspoken Sermons

MacDonald's first collection of spiritual essays and sermons.
Guild Court - A London Story (1868)
Guild Court - A London Story

First published in 3 volumes - serialised in Good Words the previous year - with 12 illustrations by G.J. Pinwell.
Seaboard Parish (1868)
Seaboard Parish

Sequel to Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood, written in the first person during the Victorian Era.
At the Back of the North Wind (1871)
At the Back of the North Wind

A fantasy adventure about a young boy named Diamond who flies to another country on the back of the lady North Wind.
Ranald Bannerman's Boyhood (1871)
Ranald Bannerman's Boyhood

A story of a young motherless boy growing up with his brothers in a Scottish manse - largely autobiographical.
Paul Faber, Surgeon (1879)
Paul Faber, Surgeon

A journey of faith that two men take - some refer to this book as the "Wingfold Trilogy".
Sir Gibbie (1879)
Sir Gibbie

A story set in the Highlands of Scotland about a mute boy with an angel's heart.
Warlock O' Glenwarlock (1881)
Warlock O' Glenwarlock

One of the most thoroughly Scottish of all his novels, and is a favorite for its spiritual, relational, and natural splendor.
Weighed and Wanting (1882)
Weighed and Wanting

Features a female protagonist, who chooses a single life of ministry among London's downtrodden.
The Princess and Curdie (1882)
The Princess and Curdie

Although considered a fairy tale, this story was not considered for children and has been compared to the Narnia books.
Donal Grant (1883)
Donal Grant

MacDonald's longest book with a little bit of everything - romance, gothic castle scenes and mad scientists.
What's Mine's Mine (1886)
What's Mine's Mine

Story revolves around the Highland clearances and the disappearance in Scotland of the old clan way of life.
The Elect Lady (1888)
The Elect Lady

Stands out for the memorable relationship of godliness, trust, honest, humility, and friendship between three children.
A Rough Shaking (1891)
A Rough Shaking

A youth level book in which MacDonald describes a major earthquake in 1887 on the Italian Mediterranean coast.
Life Essential: The Hope of the Gospel (1892)
Life Essential: The Hope of the Gospel

The fifth and final installment of written sermons which MacDonald produced.
Heather and Snow (1893)
Heather and Snow

Another Scottish tale that is poignant and melancholy.
Lilith: A Romance (1895)
Lilith: A Romance

Similiar to Phantastes and shows the influence of Carroll, but is considered one of the strangest products of Victorian fantasy.
Salted With Fire (1896)
Salted With Fire

MacDonald's final full length, realistic Scottish novel, replete with dense Scottish dialect and spiritual themes.
Far Above Rubies (1898)
Far Above Rubies

MacDonald's final book which never appeared in book form in the U.K., only in the U.S.

Most Expensive George MacDonald Books Sold on AbeBooks

1. The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke A Study of the Text of the Folio of 1623 - $2,125
First edition in dark green morocco and gilt title. Considered to be one of the scarcest of MacDonald's titles.

2. At the Back of the North Wind - $2,000
First edition, bound in full dark green calf, ribbed gilt decorated spine. Illustrated by Arthur Hughes.

3. Adela Cathcart - $1,760
First edition in original dark brown cloth lettered in gilt. A creative attempt on MacDonald's part to package a collection of short stories in the guise of a novel.

4. The Seaboard Parish in Three Volumes - $1,500
Very good copies in original black cloth, yellow endpapers and gold lettering on spines.

5. Works of Fancy and Imagination - $1,445
Published in London in 1884. In decorative box with gilt title on lid. Complete set of 10 volumes.


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