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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Irene, a young princess, is kept inside at night for fear of the goblins. They live in the mountain, and have done so for many years, so their complexions and attitudes have been highly affected. They are mischevious and mean, and would love to get their hands on the princess. But the princess has two friends who are determined to care for her. One is a boy named Curdie .. his father is a miner and has raised Curdie to be wise and strong and unafraid of goblins. He knows to sing rhyming verses, which the goblins hate and run away from. The other is an old woman (great, great, grandmother to Irene) who lives in the top of the house/castle, and who is a wonderful magical character. The goblins have a big plot to ruin the miners and hurt the king, but Curdie is able to help stop both of them.

A number of times, MacDonald puts in comments about what a real princess is. The princess has a nurse who cares for her very much, but is not always right about what a 'real princess' would do, so as the narrator, MacDonald sets the reader straight. Characteristics that he attitributes to her include bravery, keeping promises, not being afraid, being honest, and loving her king-papa. As MacDonald was a Christian, it's enjoyable to think about how he was encouraging his children (who certainly enjoyed his stories) to truly be children of God. To be good in the best sense of the word. And a princess is not stuck-up, but is glad for friends wherever she may find them, and will not tolerate those who are rude or lying. Good things to strive for, to be sure.

Irene's great, great grandmother, Irene, lives in the top room of the house/castle. Almost nobody knows she is there, until young Irene finds her. And if someone were to come upon her, they would probably not see her. Her bedroom looks simple and not lived in, but because young Irene believes this beautiful old woman, she can only see treasures in her bedroom. Irene is saved multiple times by her grandmother and knows to trust her regardless of what may appear. An old wise woman who does only good, who can be seen only when she allows it, who takes care of those she loves .. a beautiful character.

Title:The Princess and the Goblins
Author: George MacDonald
Date published:1872
Genre: children's fantasy
Number of pages: 203
Notes: repeat reading


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