By placing Phantastes within older and wider British and Continental literary traditions and by establishing this text's affi nities with the iconography of artists such as William Blake, the editors enrich our sense of George MacDonald's influential promotion of a supra-reality best discerned by "poetic and childlike" minds.
U. C. Knoepflmacher, Author of Ventures in Childland: Victorians, Fairy Tales, and Femininity
A good critical edition of George MacDonald's Phantastes has long been needed, and now we have it. This fine, comprehensive edition provides an accessible and illuminating introduction to this profound work.
Colin Manlove, Author of Scotland's Forgotten Treasure: The Visionary Novels of George MacDonald
Any serious reader of Phantastes will fi nd this edition to deepen his or her understanding and enjoyment of MacDonald's fantasy masterpiece, and MacDonald scholars will fi nd it an invaluable resource.
Bonnie Gaarden, Author of The Christian Goddess: Archetype and Theology in the Fantasies of George MacDonald
How is this book unique?
- Illustrations included
- Original & Unabridged Edition
- One of the best books to read
- Classic historical fiction books
- Extremely well formatted
Phantastes is a fantasy novel written by George MacDonald. The story centres on the character Anodos ("pathless", or "ascent" in Greek) and takes its inspiration from German Romanticism, particularly Novalis. The story concerns a young man who is pulled into a dreamlike world and there hunts for his ideal of female beauty, embodied by the "Marble Lady". Anodos lives through many adventures and temptations while in the other world, until he is finally ready to give up his ideals. Plot: The tale starts the day after Anodos' twenty-first birthday. He discovers an ancient fairy lady (whom he learns could be his grandmother) in the desk which he opens with a key that he inherited as a birthright from his late father. After the fairy shows him Fairy Land in a vision, Anodos awakes the next day to find that his room, crafted after natural elements, is taking literal form and transforming into a wood. He discovers that he has been transported to Fairy Land. Anodos then encounters a woman and her daughter in a cottage who warn him about the Ash Tree and the Alder Tree, who seek to destroy him. He is told that the spirits of these trees can leave their tree-hosts and wander throughout Fairy Land. He then explores the world of the fairies, which live in flowers, causing them to glow. The flowers, he is told, die if the fairies leave. He then has a nightmarish encounter with the spirit of the Ash Tree, escapes, and finds rest in the warmth and love of the Beech Tree's spirit. After this, he finds the statue (fondly called "my Marble Lady" by Anodos) by Pygmalion. After he sings to it, the statue flees from him. He pursues the lady and finds a woman he believes to be her. However, this lady is actually the Maid of the Alder Tree in disguise. The spirit of the Ash Tree joins the Maid and is close to killing Anodos when he is saved by Sir Percivale (who chopped the actual ash tree with an axe). Anodos then meets a woman and her daughter who believe in fairy tales and the magic of Fairy Land, despite the disbelief of the woman's husband. Anodos also finds his shadow, an evil presence that follows and torments Anodos throughout the rest of the story.