Publication date: November 2010
Digital Book format: PDF (Adobe DRM)
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George MacDonald was a 19th century Scottish writer, poet and minister. He is best known for his fairy tales and fantasies. His most popular works are Phantastes, The Princess and the Goblin, At the Back of the North Wind, and Lilith. Phantastes, a Faerie Romance for Men and Women captivates the reader from the very beginning when a man on his 21st birthday receives the keys to an old secretary belonging to his father. He opens it and finds a secret compartment which "disclosed a chamber--empty, except that in one corner lay a little heap of withered rose-leaves, whose long-lived scent had long since departed; and, in another, a small packet of papers, tied with a bit of ribbon, whose colour had gone with the rose-scent. Almost fearing to touch them, they witnessed so mutely to the law of oblivion, I leaned back in my chair, and regarded them for a moment; when suddenly there stood on the threshold of the little chamber, as though she had just emerged from its depth, a tiny woman-form, as perfect in shape as if she had been a small Greek statuette roused to life and motion. Her dress was of a kind that could never grow old-fashioned, because it was simply natural: a robe plaited in a band around the neck, and confined by a belt about the waist, descended to her feet. It was only afterwards, however, that I took notice of her dress, although my surprise was by no means of so overpowering a degree as such an apparition might naturally be expected to excite. Seeing, however, as I suppose, some astonishment in my countenance, she came forward within a yard of me, and said, in a voice that strangely recalled a sensation of twilight, and reedy river banks, and a low wind, even in this deathly room:--"