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The Princess and the Goblin

George MacDonald

Book Overview: 

The Princess and the Goblin is an enthralling fantasy tale written by George MacDonald. Her nurse Lootie raises the princess Irene in a house on a mountain, it is here that she meets her mysterious great-great-grandmother, and her friend the minor boy Curdie. Things are peaceful for Irene until the hideous race of goblins that live beneath the mountain start planning something big.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .It gave a great spring, and ran straight up one of the rocks like a huge spider. Curdie turned back laughing, and took Irene's hand again. She grasped his very tight, but said nothing till they had passed the rocks. A few yards more and she found herself on a part of the road she knew, and was able to speak again.

"Never mind, Princess Irene," he said. "You mustn't kiss me to-night. But you sha'n't break your word. I will come another time."

"Do you know, Curdie, I don't quite like your song; it sounds to me rather rude," she said.

"Well, perhaps it is," answered Curdie. "I never thought of that; it's a way we have. We do it because they don't like it."

"Who don't like it?"

"The cobs, as we call them."

"Don't!" said the nurse.

"Why not?" said Curdie.

"I beg you won't. Please don't."

"Oh, if you ask me that way, of course I won't; though I don't a bit know why. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I was immediately drawn to this story when I read the first page to this edition which reads:

"THERE was once a little princess who—
"But Mr. Author, why do you always write about princesses?"
"Because every little girl is a princess."
"You will make them vain if you tell them that."
"Not if they underst

Eight-year-old Princess Irene was... well a princess who lived outside of her father castle in a house in the countryside - if I understood correctly to improve her weak health. Goblins (or dwarves - they were the same in the tale; J.R.R. Tolkien who explained the difference between them has not bee

A great fairytale. Very reminiscent in a way of C.S. Lewis' writing, so I was not surprised to find that MacDonald actually heavily inspired not only Lewis, but also J.R.R. Tolkien as well. Classically written fantasy with strong allegorical thematic tones, The Princess and the Goblin is both heartw

A charming fairy tale for children about a princess, a miner and hundreds of goblins- not just one.

The goblins hate the king because they used to be normal humans. They chose to live underground, to be away from the king and his taxes, and that choice has turned them inhumanely ugly and grotesque.

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*Read for class*

When I think of the magic of childhood, certain images come into my head. There’s a sort of sparkle, warmth, and yet there is always danger. However, childhood magic has an incomparable sweetness to it. There are few books that manage to touch on this nigh-indescribable feeling of childhood magic. T

No wonder why Tolkien and CS Lewis admired this tale. A very fine and enchanting story.

Book 15/100 for 2015!
Also, a book I read for my Children's Literature class!
I thought this book was good, but definitely not my favorite. I didn't really like MacDonald's writing style, especially when he broke the 4th wall and kept refusing to describe things while also describing them (like "I COU

A princess, a miner and a goblin walk into a story...

Feel like you've heard this one before? Maybe the characters are unusual, but the form and general content of The Princess and the Goblin written by George MacDonald in 1872 would go on to become one of the foundation cornerstones for fantasy lite

Published in 1872, The Princess and the Goblin is one of the first books in the modern fantasy genre. This book had tremendous and very visible influence on all the (now much more famous) authors that came after it.

It is of course very dated. It does not match the standards that fantasy have created

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