Allow me, with the honour due to my father's friend, to inscribe this little volume with your name. The name of one friend is better than those of all the Muses.
And permit me to say a few words about the story.-It is a Romance. I am well aware that, with many readers, this epithet will be enough to ensure condemnation. But there ought to be a place for any story, which, although founded in the marvellous, is true to human nature and to itself. Truth to Humanity, and harmony within itself, are almost the sole unvarying essentials of a work of art. Even The Rime of the Ancient Mariner-than which what more marvellous?-is true in these respects. And Shakespere himself will allow any amount of the marvellous, provided this truth is observed. I hope my story is thus true; and therefore, while it claims some place, undeserving of being classed with what are commonly called sensational novels...
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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.