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The Shadows

The Shadows by George MacDonald
By: (1824-1905)

“Old Ralph Rinkelmann made his living by comic sketches, and all but lost it again by tragic poems. So he was just the man to be chosen king of the fairies…”

George MacDonald (December 10, 1824 – September 18, 1905) was a Scottish author, poet, and Christian minister. Though no longer well known, his works (particularly his fairy tales and fantasy novels) have inspired admiration in such notables as W. H. Auden, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Madeleine L’Engle. The Shadows is one such fairy tale. The strange Shadows spend their existence casting themselves upon the walls and forming pictures of various sorts: mimicking evil actions of those who have done wrong in the hopes of causing their repentance, playing a comic dumb-show to inspire a playwright and dancing to inspire a musician, nudging a little girl to comfort her grandfather, and playing with a sick little boy as he waits for his mother to return home. For all that their forms are black, their hearts are of the whitest.

(Summary by Wikipedia and Catharine Eastman)

First Page:


by George MacDonald





Once upon a time, the Queen of Fairyland, finding her own subjects far too well behaved to be amusing, took a sudden longing to have a mortal or two at her Court. So, after looking about her for some time, she fixed upon two to bring to Fairyland.

But how were they to be brought?

"Please your majesty," said at last the daughter of the prime minister, "I will bring the girl."

The speaker, whose name was Peaseblossom, after her great great grandmother, looked so graceful, and hung her head so apologetically, that the Queen said at once,

"How will you manage it, Peaseblossom?"

"I will open the road before her, and close it behind her."

"I have heard that you have pretty ways of doing things; so you may try."

The court happened to be held in an open forest glade of smooth turf, upon which there was just one mole heap. As soon as the Queen had given her permission to Peaseblossom, up through the mole heap came the head of a goblin, which cried out,

"Please your majesty, I will bring the boy... Continue reading book >>

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Reviews (Rated: 4 Stars - 1 review)

Reviewer: - May 28, 2014
I appreciate the reader taking the time to volunteer. I do, however, wish the voices weren't so wispy/airy. My 10 year old enjoyed the story very much.

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