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A Faerie Romance for Men and Women


"In good sooth, my masters, this is no door. Yet is it a little window, that looketh upon a great world."


For offering this new edition of my father's Phantastes, my reasons are three. The first is to rescue the work from an edition illustrated without the author's sanction, and so unsuitably that all lovers of the book must have experienced some real grief in turning its pages. With the copyright I secured also the whole of that edition and turned it into pulp. My second reason is to pay a small tribute to my father by way of personal gratitude for this, his first prose work, which was published nearly fifty years ago. Though unknown to many lovers of his greater writings, none of these has exceeded it in imaginative insight and power of expression. To me it rings with the dominant chord of his life's purpose and work. My third reason is that wider knowledge and love of the book should be made possible. To this end I have been most happy in the help of my father's old friend, who has illustrated the book. I know of no other living artist who is capable of portraying the spirit of Phantastes; and every reader of this edition will, I believe, feel that the illustrations are a part of the romance, and will gain through them some perception of the brotherhood between George MacDonald and Arthur Hughes.--Greville MacDonald, September, 1905.

"Phantastes from 'their fount all shapes deriving,
In new habiliments can quickly dight."
--from Purple Island by Phineas Fletcher (1582-1650), Scottish-English poet, elder son of Dr Giles Fletcher, and brother of Giles the younger.

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