For many readers, George MacDonald’s 1872 fantasy novel, The Princess and the Goblin, serves as the recipe for the an ideal work of children’s literature: It is equal parts magical, entertaining, and morally instructive.
Eight-year-old Princess Irene’s isolated and privileged life is upended when she first encounters the goblins living in the underground mines near her castle home. The goblins are planning to seek revenge on humankind, and part of their plan is to marry off the princess to Prince Harelip, the heir to the goblin kingdom. With her friend Curdie, the son of a miner, she must foil the goblins and save her kingdom.
Jim Killavey’s performance is highlighted by his deep voice, which rises and shifts in inflection as he playfully portrays the various characters in this delightful story.
George MacDonald was a Scottish author known particularly for his poignant fairytales and fantasy novels. He inspired many authors, including W. H. Auden, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Madeleine L'Engle, and Mark Twain. C.S. Lewis wrote that he regarded MacDonald as his "master". G. K. Chesterton cited The Princess and the Goblin as a book that had "made a difference to my whole existence". MacDonald himself said, "I write, not for children, but for the child-like, whether they be of five, or 50, or 75."
Public Domain (P)2010 Jimcin Recordings
Years ago I listened to a free version read by someone whose strong foreign accent made it hard to understand, so I thought that I would download the Audible version to really enjoy it. Unfortunately the narrator plods through it with all the enthusiasm of a computer-generated voice synthesizer. After trying hard to listen for nearly two hours, I finally gave up and turned it off. Listen to the story read by Ian Whitcomb or Frederick Davidson instead.
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