Phantastes: A Faerie Romance for Men and Women is a fantasy novel written by George MacDonald, first published in London in 1858. This was the first prose work published by MacDonald. Because of its limited financial success, MacDonald saw himself forced to turn to writing realistic novels. Phantastes, however, exerted a strong influence on ...Read MorePhantastes: A Faerie Romance for Men and Women is a fantasy novel written by George MacDonald, first published in London in 1858. This was the first prose work published by MacDonald. Because of its limited financial success, MacDonald saw himself forced to turn to writing realistic novels. Phantastes, however, exerted a strong influence on fantasy authors of later generations: for example, C. S. Lewis in his book Surprised by Joy claimed that his imagination had been "baptized" by reading it. The story centers 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.Read Less
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Phantastes is one of my all-time favorite books. George MacDonald writes for those of us who don't plan to grow up entirely when it comes to our love of fantasy and innocence. This is not a child's book, it is for adults who know how to see past child-like scenarios, like fairy-land, and enjoy an adult's journey there. It is a book of depth, imagery, beauty, struggle, and growth. I read it because I was already a George MacDonald fan, but I noticed that it was a favorite book of C.S. Lewis. That is a high recommendation!
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