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 ... Show synopsis 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 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.