The Golden Key by George MacDonald

(New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1867), 72

The boys loved reading this after The Hobbit!

  • "If a wanderer gets in among them, the good ones will always help him more than the evil ones will be able to hurt him." (13)
  • "She understood it all, and saw that everything meant the same thing, though she could not have put it into words again...And now Tangle felt that there was something in her knowledge which was not in her understanding." (59-60)


by W. H. Auden

  • The Secondary worlds of myth and fairy tale, however, different from the Primary world, presuppose its reality. As Professor Tolkien has said: "If men could not distinguish between men and frogs, stories about frog kings would not have arisen." (82, cf. ~The Tolkien Reader)
  • It must be a world governed by laws, not by pure chance. It's creator, like the inventor of a game, is at liberty to decide what the laws shall be, but, once he has decided, his story must obey them. (83)
  • But to hunt for symbols in a fairy tale is absolutely fatal...they mean what they are. (85)
  • "You must throw yourself in. There is no other way."
  • George MacDonald's most extraordinary, and precious, gift is his ability, in all his stories, to create an atmosphere of goodness about which there is nothing phony or moralistic. (86)

Topic: Kid's Books

Created: 2024-04-22-Mon
Updated: 2024-05-08-Wed