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Phantastes: A Faerie Romance for Men and Women (Paperback)
Phantastes tells the story of Anodos and his magical journey through a Fairy Land that hints at but always eludes allegory. Anodos discovers that "self will come to life even in the slaying of self, but there is ever something deeper and stronger than it, which will emerge from the unknown abysses of the soul." Published in 1858, this is the earliest novel by George MacDonald, who is generally considered the grandfather of modern fantasy. Our rejuvenated edition makes the story more readable for modern readers by updating spelling, breaking up very long paragraphs, and replacing quaint but confusing punctuation with more conventional patterns.
About reading this book for the first time, C. S. Lewis wrote, "It must be more than thirty years ago that I bought-almost unwillingly, for I had looked at the volume on that bookstall and rejected it on a dozen previous occasion-the Everyman edition of Phantastes. A few hours later I knew that I had crossed a great frontier. My imagination was, in a certain sense, baptized; the rest of me, not unnaturally, took longer. I had not the faintest notion what I had let myself in for by buying Phantastes."
Madeleine L'Engle writes, "Surely, George MacDonald is the grandfather of us all-all of us who struggle to come to terms with truth through fantasy."