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Description - The Golden Key by George MacDonald

George MacDonald (1824-1905), the great nineteenth-century innovator of modern fantasy, influenced not only C. S. Lewis but also such literary masters as Charles Williams and J. R. R. Tolkien. Though his longer fairy tales Lilith and Phantastes are particularly famous, much of MacDonald's best fantasy writing is found in his shorter stories. In this volume editor Glenn Sadler has compiled some of MacDonald's finest short works-marvelous fairy tales and stories certain to delight readers familiar with MacDonald and those about to meet him for the first time.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780802818591
ISBN-10: 0802818595
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x 10mm)
Pages: 176
Imprint: William B Eerdmans Publishing Co
Publisher: William B Eerdmans Publishing Co
Publish Date: 1-Jan-1959
Country of Publication: United States

Book Reviews - The Golden Key by George MacDonald

US Kirkus Review » First, of course, this is a beautiful artifact, recalling (even without the artist's dedication "to Mary and the memory of Randall") The Animal Family in its lineaments; and it is one of George MacDonald's stories not previously available as a separate entity. That is much, and may be enough - but what is MacDonald today besides widely revered and little read? Does he deserve the encomiums (from Tolkien on the flap, from Auden in the afterword); harder still, should he be read? Taken as pure vision (the golden key as entree to the imaginable unknowable) or religious allegory (as threshold of eternity), this suffers less than some of MacDonald's longer works from obvious didacticism or apocalyptic pessimism. A boy and a girl, Tangle and Mossy, guided by the golden key at the end of the rainbow, journey through the valley of shadows: grow old, and are separated; an eternal triumvirate, the Old Man of the Sea, of the Earth, of the Fire, return them to mature youth and to each other, and start them on the way "to the country whence shadows fall." Synopsizing necessarily imposes a plot; here is a sequence of happenings, a suspension not simply of disbelief but of expectation and assurance - the reader must (and we quote Auden quoting MacDonald) throw himself in... "There is no other way." He must also disregard certain Victorianisms (Fairyland capitalized, "the naughty tree") and imprecise imagery ("lovely and imaginative forms') and precisely naked little forms flitting about; but it is possible. As imaginative fantasy this cannot have the attraction or the impact of Lewis (or Nesbit or Boston) today, however they may range on the critical spectrum, but it is among the best of MacDonald's work, and it is lovingly, sensitively illustrated.?? (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - George MacDonald

George MacDonald(1824-1905) The great nineteenth-century innovator of modern fantasy, whose works influenced C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Charles Williams. "I do not write for children," MacDonald once said, "but for the childlike, whether of five, or fifty, or seventy-five."

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