The Princess and the Goblin

I’ve been listening to the Librivox audiobook of a strange and wonderful fantasy novel, The Princess and the Goblin, by George MacDonald, published in 1872.

Princess_and_the_Goblin

I really like volunteer reader Lizzie Driver‘s voice and the way she creates the voices for the various characters. Here’s the first section:

You can download or stream audio of the whole book here, or read the text here.

“There was once a little princess whose father was king over a great country full of mountains and valleys. His palace was built upon one of the mountains, and was very grand and beautiful. The princess, whose name was Irene, was born there, but she was sent soon after her birth, because her mother was not very strong, to be brought up by country people in a large house, half castle, half farmhouse, on the side of another mountain, about half-way between its base and its peak.

The princess was a sweet little creature, and at the time my story begins was about eight years old, I think, but she got older very fast. Her face was fair and pretty, with eyes like two bits of night sky, each with a star dissolved in the blue. Those eyes you would have thought must have known they came from there, so often were they turned up in that direction. The ceiling of her nursery was blue, with stars in it, as like the sky as they could make it. But I doubt if ever she saw the real sky with the stars in it, for a reason which I had better mention at once.

These mountains were full of hollow places underneath; huge caverns, and winding ways, some with water running through them, and some shining with all colours of the rainbow when a light was taken in. There would not have been much known about them, had there not been mines there, great deep pits, with long galleries and passages running off from them, which had been dug to get at the ore of which the mountains were full. In the course of digging, the miners came upon many of these natural caverns. A few of them had far-off openings out on the side of a mountain, or into a ravine.

Now in these subterranean caverns lived a strange race of beings, called by some gnomes, by some kobolds, by some goblins…”

~ by lolarusa on January 15, 2014.

One Response to “The Princess and the Goblin”

  1. This was my favorite book as a child. I must have taken it out of the library a zillion times. Never realized how long ago it was published.

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