Thoughts After Reading George Macdonald’s The Princess and The Goblin

Princess_and_the_GoblinThe Princess and The Goblin had been recommended to me many times by many different people, but I never got around to reading it until just this last week. Now I see why everyone praised it so highly. It is an excellent work of literature with deep symbolism and theology interwoven throughout.

It was immediately clear to me who the grandmother was, and I find her character to be an extremely appropriate representation for a children’s book. There are few things more fear or loved by children than their grandmothers. When my nieces and nephew have been behaving so poorly that their father can do nothing more, he sends them to my mom, their grandmother, and the issue is quickly settled.

Furthermore, the string which the grandmother weaves for the princess is an accurate representation of faith. Though we may not be able to see something, we still ought to follow it, and not groundlessly. The princess has reason to believe in the string and the path it takes, for she has felt her grandmother’s love.

In the story, one of the main challenges, it seemed, was for the characters to believe in the string and the grandmother. However, what we have in the church today is not a lack of people who believe that the string and grandmother are real, but a lack of people who are willing to follow them. People readily confess their belief in Christ, yet they are unwilling to act upon that belief.

The Princess and The Goblin is a classic. I hope to read it to my children someday. When C.S. Lewis said that George Macdonald was his master, he did not do so without merit. Macdonald was a brilliant author and a deep thinker who was an artist in the greatest sense, for he could convey truth in a digestible, quick, creative way. There is no burden in reading this book or its sequel.

Discussion — One Response

  • Paul Exley December 13, 2013 on 3:51 pm

    well said. That’s one of my favorite Children’s classics