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First published in 1870-1 as a serial in GOOD WORKS FOR THE YOUNG, a magazine of Christian outlook, George MacDonald's fantasy is reguarded by his admirers as his finest novel. The story of the virtuous Princess Irene and the wicked goblins with heads as hard as stone has a strong moral overtone but is enjoyed by readers of all ages. The author said: 'I do not write for children, but for the child-like, whether of five, or fifty, or seventy-five'. Arthur Hughes, a follower of the Pre-Raphaelite movement, was a close friend of the author and provided the perfect illustrative accompaniment to his work.