Saturday, February 18, 2012

Another One for the List

As I often vent to my friend Margo, how did I get to my age (almost 56) and not know about this or that book? How, I ask you?

The latest book to add to that list is The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald, a Scottish writer in the nineteenth century. MacDonald was a friend of Charles L. Dodgson, and helped encourage him to publish Alice's Adventure in WonderlandThe Princess and the Goblin came out as a book in 1871, the same year as Through the Looking Glass.

1871. This book was long in print before I read it in 2012. As I raved to Warren over breakfast this morning, "Your mother probably read this book. My grandmother probably read this book. Heck, your grandmother probably read this book!"

Note: Warren is a most tolerant man when it comes to listening to me talk endlessly about whatever book has captured my heart at the moment. Add that to the very long list of his wonderful attributes.

The Princess and the Goblin is noteworthy, historically and literarily, for many reasons. I'll spare you that discussion. But I will share something about it that fascinates me, and that is the number of authors whom it influenced: J.R.R. Tolkein, C. S. Lewis, and Madeleine L'Engle among them. It was Madeleine, in fact, who lead me to The Princess and the Goblin, citing it as a very important book in her childhood pantheon.

I have already earmarked a number of books for Baby SanchezThe Princess and the Goblin just joined that list. I am sure there are more to come. Other grandparents out there may knit blankets or build cribs. Me? I build libraries.

Recently Alise asked me what I wanted to be called when the baby arrived? I laughed at the time, as that question had never crossed my mind. As I peruse my book list, though, I find myself thinking "Granny Books."

Granny Books. Yeah, that has a nice ring to it.


Jenny Woolf said...

That's a great name!

And, have you read "At the Back of the North Wind"? I loved it as a child but now have a beautifully bound copy / a gift from a colleague.

Anonymous said...

I've not read this particular MacDonald title, but I loved his At the Back of the Northwind and it occupies a major place in our grandparent's library.

see you there! said...

I'd love to own the book just for the graphics on the cover. Your little one is going to be so lucky to have a Granny Books.


Frugal Scholar said...

I lost track of your blog a while back...glad to have returned for a read.

Check out the catalog Chinaberry Books--wonderful recommendations for children of all ages.