Children's Classics

There was once a little princess whose father was king over a great country full of mountains and valleys. His palace was built upon one of the mountains, and was very grand and beautiful. The princess, whose name was Irene, was born there, but she was sent soon after her birth, because her mother was not very strong, to be brought up by country people in a large house, half castle, half farmhouse, on the side of another mountain, about half-way between its base and its peak.

The princess was a sweet little creature, and at the time my story begins was about eight years old, I think, but she got older very fast. Her face was fair and pretty, with eyes like two bits of night sky, each with a star dissolved in the blue. Those eyes you would have thought must have known they came from there, so often were they turned up in that direction. The ceiling of her nursery was blue, with stars in it, as like the sky as they could make it. But I doubt if ever she saw the real sky with the stars in it, for a reason which I had better mention at once.

The Princess and the Goblin, Chapter 1

I remember reading The Princess and the Goblin when I was a child. This classic, written by George MacDonald, satisfied my hungry imagination with its fanciful, exciting tale and vivid word pictures. Imagine my excitement when I discovered a sequel, The Princess and Curdie (written by the same author)!

This Amazon.com review pretty much sums The Princess and the Goblin up:

As always with George MacDonald, everything here is more than meets the eye: this in fact is MacDonald’s grace-filled vision of the world. Said to be one of J.R.R. Tolkien‘s childhood favorites, The Princess and the Goblin is the story of the young Princess Irene, her good friend Curdie–a minor’s son–and Irene’s mysterious and beautiful great great grandmother, who lives in a secret room at the top of the castle stairs. Filled with images of dungeons and goblins, mysterious fires, burning roses, and a thread so fine as to be invisible and yet–like prayer–strong enough to lead the Princess back home to her grandmother’s arms, this is a story of Curdie’s slow realization that sometimes, as the princess tells him, “you must believe without seeing.” Simple enough for reading aloud to a child (as I’ve done myself more than once with my daughter), it’s rich enough to repay endless delighted readings for the adult. –Doug Thorpe


I wish I could give you a detailed review right now, but it’s been sooo long since I’ve read it! I only remember my magical impressions and even getting started reading the online version that love for the writing was reignited. :-) Hopefully I’ll be able to read it soon – I have a copy coming to me right now from PaperbackSwap.com and I’m really excited about it! And if you haven’t heard of Paperbackswap, I recommend checking it out! It’s a great and free way of swapping books you don’t want/read anymore for new ones! The only thing you pay is shipping, it ROCKS! If you do sign up, feel free to put my ID in as a reference (johnsgirl) and I’ll get a credit (good for one book) when you post your first 10 books. Okay, ad over. LOL Sorry. ;-)

Back to The Princess and the Goblin:


I found a place where you can read it online and there are even some beautiful illustrations. I’m not a huge fan of online reading (obviously I need a Kindle), but it might give you an idea of the literature and help you decide whether to grab a copy to read with your kids!

God bless and happy reading!

And if you want to read more posts on Children’s classics or even join in the fun, go to 5 Minutes for Books!

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6 Responses to Children’s Classics Carnival – The Princess and the Goblin

  • What a great post! I didn’t even know about this book. I love hearing what books authors choose to read, and thank you for the link to the online version.

  • Somehow this is another one I missed as a child. I think I need to remedy that! Thanks for a great reminder!

  • GREAT picks!!! I love MacDonald’s princess stories! The Light Princess is my particular favorite but all are good. I’m so glad you decided to post on these!

  • I’d like to read this book for the beautiful writing. Thanks for “showing” us a great classic.

  • Great review. Thanks.

  • It’s been such a long time since I’ve read these books, but they are on my shelf. I need to dust them off and see if my daughter would enjoy them as a read aloud! Thanks for reminding me!

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