Phantastes : A Faerie Romance, Paperback Book
4.5 out of 5 (4 ratings)


In October 1857, George MacDonald wrote what he described as "a kind of fairy tale, in the hope that it will pay me better than the more evidently serious work." This was "Phantastes" - one of MacDonald's most important works; a work which so overwhelmed C.

S. Lewis that a few hours after he began reading it, he knew he "had crossed a great frontier." The book is about the narrator's (Anodos) dream-like adventures in fairyland, where he confronts tree-spirits and the shadow, sojourns to the palace of the fairy queen, and searches for the spirit of the earth.

The tale is vintage MacDonald, conveying a profound sadness and a poignant longing for death.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 185 pages
  • Publisher: William B Eerdmans Publishing Co
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9780802860606

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Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.

Review by

Like the best dreams, is only partially understood, and leaves a beautiful and pleasantly melancholic feeling

Review by

Best book Macdonald ever wrote.

Review by

Everytime I read this book I am always grateful of the richness of it. For such a thin book, it packs a lot of spiritual and philosophical themes.

Review by

I picked up this book on the advice of a friend. I knew MacDonald was a major influence on C.S. Lewis, and that is pretty evident as one reads this book. The story is about a man who finds himself in Fairy Land, compelled to journey all the way through it and reach its end. He encounters various strange characters on the way and, of course, has his own set of adventures. Along the way, he learns about himself, his own sin nature, and redemption.The book itself is moderately hard to read, due to MacDonald's constant use of archaic terms and his many forays into rough, albeit enjoyable, poetry. Additionally, discovering themes and undercurrents of the work will require multiple readings--at least if my experience is any judge. But these constraints notwithstanding, I did enjoy reading this book. There were a lot of good vignettes spread throughout, and I enjoyed the rather lighthearted way in which the author writes.As has been the case with several other books I've read that were "endorsed" by C.S. Lewis, if you choose to read this one, know that you may spend a lot of time scratching your head--although that is not necessarily a bad thing!

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