Item description for The Light Princess and Other Stories (Fantasy Stories of George MacDonald) by George MacDonald & Craig Yoe...
Overview The fact that George MacDonald--a scholar as well as a preacher and writer--once read this fairy tale to his students instead of giving them a lecture says volumes about the man and his beliefs. It also says much about his faith in the power of stories. The Light Princess is a simple enough tale, clearly written for children--a princess at her christening is cursed by a wicked witch with lightness (she floats blissfully about the castle all day long, and gets into all sorts of adventures, as one can easily imagine)--yet it holds a powerful spiritual truth. Gravity, weight, sorrow, suffering--all of this the princess misses, but with all of these she misses love, for what is love without weight, without body? What is love without falling? She discovers this truth, of course, only at the last minute when a faithful prince loves her enough to die for her. Sometimes it's not a ponderous lecture--or sermon--that we need in order to experience what incarnation is about.
Publishers Description George MacDonald (1824-1905), the great nineteenth-century innovator of modern fantasy, influenced not only C. S. Lewis but also such literary masters as Charles Williams and J. R. R. Tolkien. Though his longer fairy tales Lilith and Phantastes are particularly famous, much of MacDonald's best fantasy writing is found in his shorter stories. In this volume editor Glenn Sadler has compiled some of MacDonald's finest short works - marvelous fairy tales and stories certain to delight readers familiar with MacDonald and those about to meet him for the first time. Madeleine L'Engle Surely George MacDonald is the grandfather of us all - all of us who struggle to come to terms with truth through fantasy. W. H. Auden George MacDonald is pre-eminently a mythopoeic writer. In his power to project his inner life into images, beings, landscapes which are valid for all, he is one of the most remarkable writers of the nineteenth century. C. S. Lewis What George MacDonald does best is fantasy-fantasy that hovers between the allegorical and the mythopoeic. And this, in my opinion, he does better than any man.
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Studio: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.06" Width: 6.07" Height: 0.6" Weight: 0.6 lbs.
Release Date Sep 1, 1999
Publisher Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Grade Level Multiple Grades
ISBN 0802818617 ISBN13 9780802818614
Availability 112 units. Availability accurate as of Oct 17, 2017 02:05.
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More About George MacDonald & Craig Yoe
George Macdonald was born at Huntly, in the western part of Aberdeenshire on 10 December, 1824, the son of George Macdonald, farmer, and Helen MacKay. He was educated in country schools where Gaelic myths and Old Testament stories abounded. He then went on to Aberdeen University in the early 1840's obtaining awards in Moral Philosophy and Sciences. Next he studied for the Congregationalist ministry at Highbury College, London.
In 1850 he was made pastor at Arundel, West Sussex, England. MacDonald resigned however after three years of not living up to the congregational authorities’ expectations for more dogmatic sermons and being accused of heresy. Rejecting his Calvinist upbringing and doctrine of predestination, he came to believe in the divine presence but not divine providence and felt that everyone was capable of redemption.
George MacDonald married Louisa Powell in 1851 and they had six sons and five daughters together. One of their sons, Greville Macdonald would later become a writer himself and author a biography of his father. After a stay in Algiers to gain his health back MacDonald returned to England to tutor and write to provide for his ever-growing family and preach freelance when time permitted. Despite his successful career as a published writer he was continually forced to rely on the charity of his friends. Lady Byron was one such patron who assisted him until her death in 1860 as well as John Ruskin. MacDonald was mentor to C.S. Lewis; formed a strong friendship with Mark Twain after a tumultuous start and G. K. Chesterton, Henry Longfellow, and Walt Whitman were also counted among his friends. Some of his early poetry was Within and Without (1855) and Poems (1857), however his first real successes came with his Scottish country life stories such as David Elginbrod (1862), Alec Forbes (1865) and Robert Falconer (1868).
The 1870s brought an invitation for MacDonald to tour and lecture in America. He was well-received by huge audiences and by writers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson. A well-paid ministerial position was offered him but he chose to return to England. In 1877 he was pensioned at the request of Queen Victoria. The ill health that had plagued MacDonald the greater part of his life forced him to seek the warmer climates of Europe. One of his daughters was taken to Italy for a cure in 1877 though she ended up dying. However Macdonald found the climate of such benefit to his own maladies that he spent most of the years from 1881 to 1902 in Bordighera, Italy, "Heaven of the English" in his house "Casa Coraggio." His wife was the organist of the Catholic church there and they often held concerts and amateur plays in their home socializing and having a merry time. Titles published around this time were Sir Gibbie (1879), Donal Grant (1883), and the moral allegories Lilith (1895) and Robert Falconer (1868) show MacDonald's early distaste for the limiting Calvinist God's electing to love some and denying it to others.
Louisa Powell died one year after her and George's golden wedding anniversary, in 1902. George Macdonald, after a long illness, died at Ashstead, Surrey, England on 18 September, 1905. His remains were cremated and they were taken to his beloved Bordighera for interment alongside his wife. A memorial to George MacDonald has been erected in the Drumblade Churchyard, Aberdeenshire.
In his George MacDonald: An Anthology (1947) C. S. Lewis states that while reading a copy of MacDonald's Phantastes (1858) "a few hours later," through inspiration of the gentle Christian's words "I knew I had crossed a great frontier.".... "I know hardly any other writer who seems closer, or more continually close, to the Spirit of Christ himself." W.H. Auden and J. R. R. Tolkien also admired his efforts. Phantastes was to become a definitive work of MacDonald's career. Through his writing, peppered with the Doric Dialect, he asserted that there was a God and art and the expression of creativity of spirit brought one closer to Him. Other successful titles were At the Back of the North Wind (1871), The Princess and the Goblin (published sometime in the 1880s) and it's sequel The Princess and Curdie (1883). The Diary of an Old Soul first published posthumously in 1965 strikes a deeper note of thoughtfulness where MacDonald offers a prayer for each day of the year.
George MacDonald was born in 1824 and died in 1905.
George MacDonald has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about The Light Princess and Other Stories (Fantasy Stories of George MacDonald)?
A nice story for young children Jun 26, 2006
This fairy tale by George MacDonald is about a charming, but bewitched Princess, a Prince in disguise, some nice fairies, and one very bad one. It is easy to like the main characters. Children will enjoy the fact that the adults are rather foolish and even the bad witch is not really scary. This is a nice story for parents to read to young children and then discuss behaviors and conduct.
Pocket edition of classic tale May 14, 2006
This review will only cover the basics: I have loved this story since I was a child. Still, this edition is not quite what I remember.
1) This edition does not feature illustrations by Maurice Sendak. Instead, it features a few (about 4) colored etching-type illustrations by Arthur Hughes.
2) The cover page says "unabridged". As I do not have the one I read as a child, I cannot say this is false, but I remember it to be a full-size novel. This edition is about the size of a pocket calculator: 3"X4.5". The font size is about a 10. Yet, each chapter is only a few pages long and the total page count is 131.
This edition claims to be unabridged from MacDonald's 1867 edition of the story included in a collection of fairy tales. As fairly tale collections are frequently abridged stories, I wonder if this edition is claiming to be unabridged from an edition that itself was shortened.
I purchased this copy cheap, knowing there must be a reason for it. Therefore, I was not disappointed. Still, I have now also purchased the edition with Sendak as illustrator.
For a pocket book, I find this to be very nice. Still, if you are unfamiliar with the story, I would recommend a different edition.
Light Princess: good but not great Jul 7, 2005
Once I heard about The Light Princess, I ordered it because I buy everything by Robin McKinley, and I have a soft spot for George MacDonald (The Princess and the Goblin). I have not read the original of this, but wanted to see how McKinley would rewrite a classic tale.
The book is pretty but not beautiful, and the story is charming but a bit flat to my taste. In addition, the final change in the princess from careless to concerned seemed unmotivated and hence not quite believable. I think it's a fine book to have in your library, but not worth chasing down too hard.
Excellent in every respect. Jan 17, 2005
The Light Princess has no flaws. I have never read a fairy tale that made me laugh so hard--my wife and I could hardly catch our breaths at the beginning of the story. And then we cried at the end; the symbolism is strikingly powerful. As good as this book is, however, I like one George MacDonald book better: The Lost Princess, although that book is hard to find outside of an anthology. If you can ever find The Lost Princess, however, you find another masterpiece. For the record, my -wife- likes The Light Princess better: I guess there's no accounting for taste! ;)
My most beloved MacDonald book! Dec 18, 2002
When I received this as a gift, I had already read and thoroughly delighted in "At the Back of the North Wind," "The Princess and the Goblin," "The Princess and Curdie," and "The Golden Key." When you read MacDonald, if your heart is right, you feel sheltered--the world he creates for you is as trustworthy and pure as C. S. Lewis's Narnia or Rivendell of Tolkien's Middle Earth. At the same time, you feel challenged to transform your own world and make it more like MacDonald's.
I was expecting another dose of the same awe-inspiring goodness without false piety or preachiness that is MacDonald's literary legacy. In "The Light Princess," however, there was an unexpected ingredient--a sharp wit that pervades the whole book and made me laugh out loud more than once. In a modern world where wit and vulgarity are viewed as conjoined twins, how satisfying a book this is! MacDonald infused delicious humor into his characters without losing the innocence. I fell in love with this book by page three, and it has surpassed "The Princess and the Goblin" as my favorite work of George MacDonald.
The fact that my favorite illustrator of all time, Maurice Sendak, added his talents to this book is icing on the cake. Sendak always grabs the heart and soul of the written work and renders it into drawings too evocative to be believed. The drawing of the prince with only his head above the water took my breath away, and in one fabulous illustration, the hilarious expression on the face of the gravity-deprived infant princess as she floats away reflects the hilarity of the story itself.
If some of MacDonald's other stories have turned you off because they are too long, too "deep" or whatever, don't miss this treasure as a result. It is MacDonald-Light, and by that I mean not only easy to read, but typically illumined with beauty and truth. Plus, it's a love story that pokes fun of its own sentimentality. Anyone not brain-dead and heart-numb ought to adore it.