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The Golden Key and Other Stories by George…

The Golden Key and Other Stories (original 1980; edition 1980)

by George MacDonald

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222178,780 (3.57)None
Title:The Golden Key and Other Stories
Authors:George MacDonald
Info:Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. (1980), Edition: New edition, Paperback, 176 pages
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The Golden Key and Other Stories by George MacDonald (1980)



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Eerdmans has done the modern world a fine service by collecting the short fantasy stories of George MacDonald into four volumes.

This volume was a bit more of a mixed bag. The good stories were very good while the weak stories simply had to be endured. Here are the stories:

- "The Golden Key" (1867 from Dealings With Fairies)
- "The History of Photogen and Nycteris" (1879 from Graphic)
- "The Shadows" (1864 from Adela Cathcart)
- "The Gifts of the Child Christ" (1882 from The Gifts of the Child Christ, and Other Tales)

The title story is strong. It's as a classic quest tale that evokes that sense of otherness MacDonald is so good at. "The History of Photogen and Nycteris" is another fine story. What happens when a young woman who has only ever known night meets a young man who has only ever known daylight? I can't help but think that some of MacDonald's descriptions of the woman encountering daylight for the first time informed C. S. Lewis' short story, "The Man Born Blind".

"The Shadows," while interesting in concept, failed to sustain my interest. The last story is not even a work of fantasy, but a morality tale about an irritating servant.

All that said, I would re-buy this book in a heartbeat on the strength of either of the first two longer stories. ( )
1 vote StephenBarkley | Feb 11, 2012 |
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There was a boy who used to sit in the twilight and listen to his great-aunt's stories.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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There are at least three collections of MacDonald's fiction called _The Golden Key and Other Stories_, which should not be combined. (1) Published by Lion/Eerdmans as part of the four-volume Fantasy Stories of George MacDonald. Contains 'The Golden Key', 'The History of Photogen and Nycteris', 'The Shadows' and 'The Gifts of the Child Christ'. (2) Published by Chariot Books/Scripture Union. Contains 'The Golden Key', 'The Light Princess', 'Little Daylight' and 'The Day Boy and the Night Girl'. (3) Published by Zondervan. Contains the same stories as the Scripture Union title, but apparently is an abridged edition.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0802818595, Paperback)

George MacDonald (1824-1905), the great nineteenth-century innovator of modern fantasy, influenced not only C. S. Lewis but also such literary masters as Charles Williams and J. R. R. Tolkien. Though his longer fairy tales Lilith and Phantastes are particularly famous, much of MacDonald’s best fantasy writing is found in his shorter stories. In this volume editor Glenn Sadler has compiled some of MacDonald’s finest short works—marvelous fairy tales and stories certain to delight readers familiar with MacDonald and those about to meet him for the first time.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:48 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Contains four stories by ninteenth-century fantasy writer George MacDonald, including the title selection in which a young boy who lives on the fringes of Fairyland finds the golden key at the end of the rainbow and is joined by a lovely companion in a lifelong quest for its corresponding lock.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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