Along with The Princess and the Goblin, this edition includes four other major fairy stories by MacDonald, as well as a selection of historical documents on the works’ composition and reception, Victorian fairy tales, and MacDonald’s literary criticism.
Princess Irene lives in a castle in a wild and lonely mountainous region. One day she discovers a steep and winding stairway leading to a bewildering labyrinth of unused passages with closed doors - and a further stairway. What lies at the top? Can the ring the princess is given protect her against the lurking menace of the boglins from under the mountain?
After years of being childless, the king and queen finally welcome a beautiful daughter into the world. But at the young princess’s christening, the king’s wicked sister curses the girl to a life without gravity. Doomed to float above the ground, unable to bring her feet to earth, the princess grows up unlike any other child. Inspired by “Sleeping Beauty,” The Light Princess is George MacDonald’s “lightest” fairy tale, indulging in skillful wordplay and unrepentant puns—the kind of story made to charm children and delight adults.
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In "The Light Princess," a young royal, bewitched at birth by her spiteful aunt, is cursed with uncontrollable bouts of lightness. (Gravity, it seems, doesn't affect her!) A little boy in "The Golden Key" is told he can find a magical key at the end of the rainbow. What the key will open, though, is part of its mystery. And in "The Giant's Heart," the monster in question is truly heartless, for he's hidden his heart, and it's up to two determined children to find the awful thing and put an end to the colossal ogre. These and five other beguiling tales, all delightfully illustrated by famed pre-Raphaelite painter Arthur Hughes, are sure to charm readers of all ages — those already familiar with MacDonald and those about to meet him for the first time.