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C. S. Lewis wrote, concerning his first reading of Phantastes at age sixteen, “That night my imagination was, in a certain sense, baptized; the rest of me[,] not unnaturally, took longer. I had not the faintest notion what I had let myself in for by buying Phantastes.”



“Our life is no dream; but it ought to become one, and perhaps will.” – Novalis

In this simple and compact edition from Campbell Classics, follow young Anodos into daring adventure, narrow escapes, and into a place more real than real. Into a place of dreams.

And this beloved novel unfolds like a dream, like a place you’ve already experienced, a place you may currently reside, a place both lovely and haunting.

With striking parallels to reality and depths-before-untrammeled, we find ourselves in a world of shadows and ideals, of souls and horror, and of fairies.

G.K. Chesterton said the writings of George MacDonald “made a difference to my whole existence.

CS LEWIS believed MacDonald was the greatest modern myth-writer:

“Every now and then there occurs in the modern world–a Kafka or a Novalis–who can make such a story. MacDonald is the greatest genius of this kind whom I know…

“The quality that had enchanted me in his imaginative works turned out to be the quality of the real universe, the divine, magical, terrifying and ecstatic reality in which we all live.”

George MacDonald wrote Phantastes in 1857. He described it as “a kind of fairy tale, in the hope that it will pay me better than the more evidently serious work.” MacDonald never came to prominence in his time and is still relatively unknown, though he did inspire subsequent generations of fantasy writers, including CS LEWIS, J.R.R TOLKIEN, MADELEINE L’ENGLE, and NEIL GAIMAN.

MacDonald married Louisa Powell and with her had eleven children. Notably he was friends with Mark Twain and Lewis Carroll, and encouraged Carroll, who was skeptical of his own work, to publish his peculiar novel: ‘Alice in Wonderland.’


Note from publisher:

We made a beautiful and compact edition of one of my favorite classics, Phantastes. Although not a well known novel it is known as one of the greatest myth novels in the world.

1 review for Phantastes

  1. itlpress

    one of the greatest novels. ever.

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