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The Princess and the Goblin (Puffin…
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The Princess and the Goblin (Puffin Classics) (original 1872; edition 2011)

by George McDonald, Ursula K. Le Guin (Introduction)

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2,614302,294 (4.04)82
Member:rwjerome
Title:The Princess and the Goblin (Puffin Classics)
Authors:George McDonald
Other authors:Ursula K. Le Guin (Introduction)
Info:Puffin (2011), Edition: Reissue, Paperback, 234 pages
Collections:Ebooks
Rating:*****
Tags:fiction, fantasy, children, magic

Work details

The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald (1872)

  1. 00
    The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver (Inky_Fingers)
    Inky_Fingers: There might be more than a hundred years separating these two books, but I kept thinking of The Princess and the Goblin as I was reading The Spindlers. There is a bit of plot similarity with both girls lost in a magical underground world, but there are also similarities in the beauty of the language and in taking abstract concepts like dreams and giving them solid form.… (more)
  2. 00
    The Tree That Sat Down by Beverley Nichols (bookel)
  3. 00
    The Little Lame Prince by Dinah Maria Mulock Craik (infiniteletters)
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» See also 82 mentions

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Anything in me that is brave, honest, kind, and honourable is due in great part to the many times I read this book when I was young. I loved the characters and the adventures, and the settings of both mountain and palace (especially the mysterious dove tower).

I had forgotten other appealing aspects: the humor, and the excitingly challenging vocabulary words. And, perhaps most appealing, is a part of the story seldom mentioned in the descriptions here - Princess Irene's amazing courage. At age eight, *she* rescued Curdie from the cave where the goblins lived and plotted against the sun-people.

A couple of quotes: "We are all very anxious to be understood, and it is very hard [frustrating] not to be. But there is one thing much more necessary.... To understand other people."

and, "If a true princess has done wrong, she is always uneasy until she has had an opportunity of throwing the wrongness away from her by saying, 'I did it, and I wish I had not, and I am sorry for having done it.'"

MacDonald made me feel as if I could be a true princess, as he holds much less stock in titles & lineage than in strength of character. And while he's clearly not subtle about sharing his thoughts, he's not annoyingly didactic, either.

( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
A princess, her magical great-great-grandmother, and her new friend, a miner boy, work to stop the goblins that live underneath the mountain from rising up and taking over the village.
  Emackay24 | Mar 16, 2015 |
Once upon a time, there was an eight year old princess named Irene. She has a house nurse that takes care of her during the day and an older lady with silver hair who, for many nights, cares for the little princess. This lady claims to be Irene's great-great-grandmother and only appears to Irene herself. One night, Irene's grandmother gives her a ball of thread and a special ring. She tells Irene that whenever she is in danger to put the ring under her pillow and follow the thread. As Irene's story unfolds with her grandmother, a young miner named Curdie is working in the mines close to where the goblins live when he happens to overhear a conversation. Many nights he returns to sneak around their halls and to find out what they are up to. By doing this, Curdie learns that the goblins intend to capture the princess and force her to marry the goblin prince. Unfortunately, he accidentally gets captured by the goblins only to be rescued by the princess herself when her thread leads her to him. After his escape, Curdie tries to protect the princess by searching for the tunnel closest to her house when he is captured by the guards who mistake him for a goblin. During the goblins' attack, Curdie escapes his custody and aids the guards to draw the goblins back. After the attack, the princess is no where to be found. Curdie is aided by the old women when he follows the thread back to his home. To his surprise the princess is there with his mother safe and sound. The next day, the princess is returned and the goblins end up getting what they deserve.

Personal Reflection: This book was originally written in 1872 so the writing style is different from today's. I like it though because it makes the book feel more fantasy like. The princess seems really mature for her age, but then again she is a princess. The book does leave me wondering more about her great-great-grandmother. What exactly is she?

Extensions: 1. Have students write what happens next in the story. What happens after the princess leaves with her father? Before reading the next book, what happens between Irene and Curdie?

2. Make a list of adjectives from the book that describe the goblins. Have students use these adjectives to draw their interpretation of a goblin.

3. Before reading have the kids create three masks or props: one that symbolizes the princess, one the miner boy, and the last a goblin. Since each chapter revolves around one or another, have the students wear the mask or prop that goes with the chapter. ( )
1 vote mnewby17 | Feb 19, 2015 |
While exploring her great house eight-year old Princess Irene gets lost; in attempting to retrace her steps she comes across a beautiful old woman who is spinning. The woman tells her that she’s Irene’s great-great-grandmother, and that her name is also Irene. She shows the princess the way to return safely to her room. But when she returns to it she gets a scolding from her irate nurse who accuses her of hiding and then making up a story about some old woman living in the attic.

The reverend MacDonald’s 1872 allegorical fairy tale of faith in a nurturing being that is not visible to everyone is very well read by Heldman whose sweet narration brings across the reassuring elements of the story. The voices that she uses for Princess Irene and the young miner Cudie are especially effective. ( )
1 vote MaowangVater | Jan 21, 2015 |
I was reminded of The Princess and the Goblin, and its sequel, The Princess and Curdie, in the Children’s Book Week Giveaway earlier this year when I asked for people’s favourite children’s books. These were part of my childhood, or maybe tweens, and I have memories of going to the library, which was in a large converted tithe barn, with oak beams and shingled sides, in order to take them out. You never saw them in book shops, so I never owned a copy. Now I have them both on Kindle, and I’m very pleased to make their re-acquaintance.

Princess Irene is the sort of princess that I initally find too goodie-goodie, but warm to as she goes along, since she has plenty of spunk, and also good taste, since she likes Curdie, the son of a miner, who is altogether smart and heroic. It’s a story told by the invisible narrator in an old-fashioned style, occasionally crossing the fourth wall to tell “you, the reader” what you might be thinking now, and explaining it to you. There’s not too much of that, though, and what I love is the amazing imagery, the darkness and tension of the dastardly cobs (goblins/kobolds) deep below the mountains, and the magical appearance of Irene’s great-great-grandmother, also named Irene. In fact, as I read her first appearance, with the silver bowl to wash Princess Irene’s dirty face and the soft white towel to dry it, I had a flashback to my youth, remembering this mysterious creature as I read about her for the first time.

This is a fast moving story with adventures underground, twists, turns and double loops back. There are enough clues to tantalise you into thinking you know what will happen, but you don’t get it all, and there are some lovely touches with vain cob queens and greedy people of both races. There are plenty of moralistic statements, mainly about telling the truth and not being believed, and putting up with minor injustice as it will all work out in the end. And of course it does, although I always remember the second book with more warmth, so I’m looking forward to re-reading that one as well.

I think The Princess and the Goblin is an excellent MG read, although some may dislike the description of the fights between the humans and the goblins. There are plenty of long words though, like my books! It’s an intriguing fantasy mystery with a magical touch, firmly rooted in noble values that I hope kids still aspire to. Old-fashioned, maybe. Classic, definitely. ( )
1 vote Jemima_Pett | Nov 11, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (23 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
MacDonald, Georgeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Álvarez de Toledo, PabloIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
DuPrau, JeanneIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Folkard, CharlesIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guin, Ursula K. LeIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hughes, ArthurIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Joyce, PeterNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lewis, NaomiIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martín Gaite, CarmenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Norton, AndreAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Parry, AlanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, Jessie WillcoxIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, Joseph A.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thomas, LlewellynIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whitcomb, IanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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There was once a little princess whose father was king over a great country full of mountains and valleys.
Introduction: A story about goblins is bound to be strange.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0140367462, Paperback)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:40:17 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Princess Irene discovers a secret stair to the top turret of the castle and the miner's son Curdie overhears a plot by the goblins who live below the mountain. It will take all their wit and courage, and a magic ring, to foil the goblin's schemes.

(summary from another edition)

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