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At the Back of the North Wind (Twelve-Point…
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At the Back of the North Wind (Twelve-Point Series) (original 1871; edition 1998)

by George MacDonald

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1,904213,597 (3.97)80
Member:PeninahPearl
Title:At the Back of the North Wind (Twelve-Point Series)
Authors:George MacDonald
Info:North Books (1998), Hardcover, 280 pages
Collections:Your library
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At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald (1871)

  1. 00
    The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald (Candie.London)
  2. 11
    The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente (rakerman)
    rakerman: Wind spirits play an important role in both The Girl and At the Back of the North Wind. The books both have aspects of wonder and sorrow, with a similar idea of a child taken away into a magical land.
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» See also 80 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
The book is about a young boy named Diamond drives a cab in London. His family is very poor and sometimes starving, and he sleeps over the stables where the horses are kept, but he is such a happy child that folks call him 'God's Baby'. One night he had a visit from the North Wild, a beautiful woman. He learns that she has power and has a role in all of our lives. The book ending it kinda sad. ( )
  mparks15 | Dec 7, 2017 |
I know this is a "classic" – a major influence on C.S. Lewis and all that stuff – but I found it rather sentimental and with a quite predictable ending. I might not rate it as highly as I did (3***) except that this edition includes illustrations by Jessie Wilcox Smith, for whom I've got a great deal of affection. ( )
  CurrerBell | Apr 12, 2017 |
This has all the lyrical prose of a Victorian Children’s Fairy Tale, whimsical and wholesome. It dangerously approached saccharine sermonizing – if not for the North Wind. Sometimes a Tall Woman with Dark Hair, sometimes a Wolf, or a Fairy, or an Unseen Breath, she is the most intriguing character in a fairy tale I have encountered in some time. Biden by her unnamed Master, she often does what seems cruel, causing pain, suffering, and even death. And yet, in the end, is it revealed that all she does is for the healing, the betterment, and the good fortune of people. She is neither callous nor wanton in her destruction, but precise and obedient, doing her duty with a single-minded service to her master. A the Back of the North Wind is a place, a place she cannot see or visit, but a place she often takes those she is bidden to carry there. It seems a place where neither time nor illness nor hungry nor suffering dwell.
Daylight is a bit too cherubic for my taste, but I related to his constant out-of-place nature. He doesn’t fit in but doesn’t seem to notice. It is thought Daylight was modeled after MacDonald’s own son, as a tribute to the boy. His angelic goodness is off-set by the secondary characters, rough-and-tumble crowd, cabbies and street urchins, drunks and benevolent gentlemen. They seem real in a way Daylight does not. But perhaps that is the point.
This is a fantastic fairy tale, whimsical and imaginative, but with a somber ending that makes this far more than just a gossamer tale of nonsense for children. To understand that pain and death are important teachers, vital to our life and growth, is a lesson worth teaching our children. MacDonald’s story helps explain this concept to children in a way that makes sense to them. And may help adults understand a concept that seems so contrary to our minds. ( )
2 vote empress8411 | Mar 2, 2017 |
This has all the lyrical prose of a Victorian Children’s Fairy Tale, whimsical and wholesome. It dangerously approached saccharine sermonizing – if not for the North Wind. Sometimes a Tall Woman with Dark Hair, sometimes a Wolf, or a Fairy, or an Unseen Breath, she is the most intriguing character in a fairy tale I have encountered in some time. Biden by her unnamed Master, she often does what seems cruel, causing pain, suffering, and even death. And yet, in the end, is it revealed that all she does is for the healing, the betterment, and the good fortune of people. She is neither callous nor wanton in her destruction, but precise and obedient, doing her duty with a single-minded service to her master. A the Back of the North Wind is a place, a place she cannot see or visit, but a place she often takes those she is bidden to carry there. It seems a place where neither time nor illness nor hungry nor suffering dwell.
Daylight is a bit too cherubic for my taste, but I related to his constant out-of-place nature. He doesn’t fit in but doesn’t seem to notice. It is thought Daylight was modeled after MacDonald’s own son, as a tribute to the boy. His angelic goodness is off-set by the secondary characters, rough-and-tumble crowd, cabbies and street urchins, drunks and benevolent gentlemen. They seem real in a way Daylight does not. But perhaps that is the point.
This is a fantastic fairy tale, whimsical and imaginative, but with a somber ending that makes this far more than just a gossamer tale of nonsense for children. To understand that pain and death are important teachers, vital to our life and growth, is a lesson worth teaching our children. MacDonald’s story helps explain this concept to children in a way that makes sense to them. And may help adults understand a concept that seems so contrary to our minds. ( )
1 vote empress8411 | Mar 2, 2017 |
a little boy gets to know the North Wind, which is basically an angel of death for children. Sees the world, has adventures with his family, and then goes to the Back of the North Wind at the end of the book, which means he died.

Can't say I really understood this very well. Filled with poems, songs, etc that I just skipped over. In essence, it seems to be a story about a little boy who dies. But it wasn't really sad. ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
George MacDonaldprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bedford, Francis DonkinIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Browning, ColleenIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hauman, DorisIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hauman, GeorgeIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hughes, ArthurIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kirk, Maria L.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mills, Lauren A.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mozley, CharlesIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shepard, E.H.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, Jessie WillcoxIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thomas, Alan M.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
I have been asked to tell you about the back of the North Wind. An old Greek writer mentions a people who lived there, and were so comfortable that they could not bear it any longer, and drowned themselves. My story is not the same as his.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is the main work for At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald. Please do not combine with any omnibus containing additional works, or with any abridgement, adaptation, etc.
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Book description
Available online at The Hathi Trust:
https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/...

Also available at The Internet Archive:
https://archive.org/details/atbackofno...

Also available at Project Gutenberg:
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/225
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375413359, Hardcover)

A Victorian fairy tale that has enchanted readers for more than a hundred years: the magical story of Diamond, the son of a poor coachman, who is swept away by the North Wind–a radiant, maternal spirit with long, flowing hair–and whose life is transformed by a brief glimpse of the beautiful country “at the back of the north wind.” It combines a Dickensian regard for the working class of mid-19th-century England with the invention of an ethereal landscape, and is published here alongside Arthur Hughes’s handsome illustrations from the original 1871 edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:58 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Diamond, a young boy living in nineteenth-century London, has many adventures as he travels with the beautiful Lady North Wind and comes to know the many facets of her protective and violent temper.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 11 descriptions

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