Inside the world, Vane learns of a house of beds where the dreamers sleep until the end of the world in death: a good death, in which life is found. Vane's grandfather refused to sleep there and is, instead, forced to do battle with skeletons in a haunted wood. After a treacherous journey through a valley (where the moon is the only thing to keep him safe), Mr. Vane meets the Little Ones, children who never grow up, remaining pure children or becoming selfish and getting bigger and dumber, turning into "bags" or bad giants. After conversing with Lona, the eldest of the children, Mr. Vane decides to help them, and sets off to gather more information, although the Raven (who is also Adam) has warned Mr. Vane that he needs to sleep along with the dreamers before he can really help them........
Phantastes: A Faerie Romance for Men and Women is a fantasy novel written by George MacDonald, first published in London in 1858. It was later reprinted in paperback by Ballantine Books as the fourteenth volume of the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series in April 1970.
The story centres 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.
The edition published in 1905 was illustrated by Pre-Raphaelite painter Arthur Hughes.
C.S. Lewis wrote, concerning his first reading of Phantastes at age sixteen, "That night my imagination was, in a certain sense, baptized; the rest of me not unnaturally, took longer. I had not the faintest notion what I had let myself in for by buying Phantastes............
George MacDonald (10 December 1824 - 18 September 1905) was a Scottish author, poet, and Christian minister. He was a pioneering figure in the field of fantasy literature and the mentor of fellow writer Lewis Carroll. His writings have been cited as a major literary influence by many notable authors including W. H. Auden, C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien,Walter de la Mare,E. Nesbit and Madeleine L'Engle.C. S. Lewis wrote that he regarded MacDonald as his "master": "Picking up a copy of Phantastes one day at a train-station bookstall, I began to read. A few hours later," said Lewis, "I knew that I had crossed a great frontier." .....
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About the Author
George MacDonald (1824-1905) was a Scottish author, poet, and Christian minister who was a pioneering figure in the field of fantasy literature. A mentor to Lewis Carroll and a major influence on writers from C. S. Lewis to J. R. R. Tolkien, MacDonald’s best-known books are Phantastes, The Princess and the Goblin, At the Back of the North Wind, and Lilith, which are all fantasy novels.