The Lost Princess
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The Lost Princess

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  438 ratings  ·  37 reviews
A new edition of a classic fairy tale about two spoiled girls who learn self-control from a mysterious Wise Woman. The girls are brought by magic to the Wise Woman's cottage deep in the forest. By encountering difficult situations, they learn many valuable lessons and grow in character. Over 30 realistically detailed illustrations in full color bring this intricate tale to...more
Hardcover, 142 pages
Published by William B. Eerdmans Publishing (first published 1875)
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This is one of my favorite books. I find it very convicting on the heart level. Through a 'fairy tale' MacDonald gently (and sometimes not so gently) points out sins of selfishness, pride, laziness, etc. Those kinds of sins which are subtle and easily glossed over or hidden. But he does it in such a palatable way that the book is a joy to read even while it is convicting you.
I've read it several times as has my daughter (now 12, but read it on her own for the first time when she was 8 or 9).
Dec 15, 2012 David rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
I came across this title in an attempt to acquaint myself with 19th century children's literature that I'd previously overlooked. Also included on this discovery was Charles Kingsley's "The Water Babies", a classic that has endured even if with diminished popularity over the decades. I did not like "The Water Babies" at all. Its efforts at teaching a moral lesson to Victorian children comes off as propaganda. There was also a very bigotry tone as the author reflected a dislike of Americans, Iris...more
Billy Barefeet
Life changing read. (Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?)

Macdonald says,"And that is all my double story. How double it is, if you care to know, you must find out."

If you have little people in your life read them this parable and if the have they the ears to hear, you help will set them on the road to freedom from self. There is no mystery surrounding George Macdonald's motivation for writing what he does. Jesus is the theme of his lif...more

This book is amazing!!! A must read for every child and parent. A WONDERFUL read-aloud!! One of the best books on "parenting" and "child-raising" I have ever read. And it is all a fictional story that draws you and the child in. Very funny and very wise, this book will change the life of anyone who reads it/hears it!!! It takes you through the life of a Princess and how she is shown her true wretched (dare I say sinful) self and learns what it means to be a true princess. I cannot recommend thi...more
Mar 17, 2013 JoAnn rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
I enjoyed this one until the end. I don't believe MacDonald gave the poor girl equal opportunity to repent and change as he did the princess. The unequal treatment of rich and poor suggests poor people are not as valuable as are the rich.
Lisa Rathbun
I love this book! At one point when reading this for the first time, I felt so convicted that I had to stop and confess sin to the Lord. My favorite of MacDonald's.
My first MacDonald - won't be the last. A prime example of beautiful children's literature.
My favorite novella.
Anne Hawn Smith
George MacDonald is one of my favorite authors. I love his imagination and his ability to tell a story that feels like a folk tale which has come down through the ages.

This tale is about two little girls, one a spoiled princess, and one a vain and selfish shepherdess. The Wise Woman steals them from their homes and attempts to teach them what their neglectful parents have not. While some would call the tale moralizing, it is totally appropriate for today's parents and children. Just about every...more
Here's a summary that I found (since I haven't read it in several years...)

There are two girls born: Rosamond, the daughter of a King and a Queen, takes it for granted that she is something special. As Rosamond grows up, she becomes worse, for she never tries to grow better. She becomes more and more peevish and fretful every day. The other girl born is called Agnes. Her parents are poor shepherds but still consider Agnes extraordinary.
Those people are not a bit wiser than the King and the Queen...more
Evie Maiolo
I had read this originally in primary school, and this story definitely left an impression on me. Revisiting this book brought back many memories from when I read it as a young girl.

It is a fairytale of two young girls - a princess and a farm girl. Different in circumstance, but both spoilt by their parents, both girls have to learn many lessons about overcoming conceit and weakness of character - guided by a wise woman who tries to show them the path of self awareness and humility.

Not only an...more
Nathan C.
"For there is no fault that does not bring its brothers, and sisters, and cousins to live with it."

In MacDonald's double story, two children are born on the same day--in such different surroundings that one wonders how they could both be the same kind of creature. One is born a princess, and one a humble shepherd's daughter; but they both learn that they are Somebody--and that is their tragedy.

Which is really the worst--to demand other's adoration, or to be content with self-worship? And is ther...more
A childhood favorite that has stood the test of time, George MacDonald's fairy tale of two very different (but equally unhappy) little girls is beautifully illustrated here. If you haven't read this one, make sure to check it out. It is allegorical and can be enjoyed by people of many different ages.
Laura Fischer
Of all of George MacDonald's very fine stories, this is, in my opinion, the finest. Deep enough for adults but accessible for children, and this edition is beautifully illustrated. I have read it to myself, to my siblings, to children I babysat, and to kids at church, and I intend to keep reading it to nieces and nephews and maybe grandchildren someday.

I would have to write a very long review to truly do it justice, but I will let my words be few.

Most highly recommended.
I read this book a few years ago, and though it was in a fairy-tale style (or perhaps why that was it!), I really loved it, and felt like it touched my heart somewhere. I generally don't really enjoy the 'usual' fairytales, but this was.. different. You don't feel like the Moral Of The Story is pushed in your face, and it's really innocent and sweet.

Whether you're a precocious 5-year-old kid, or a 90-year-old grandmother, read it!
in this age of entitlement, we might ask ourselves if we aren't raising brats who think the world revolves around their needs. the best antidote to this imbalance would be to read more of george macdonald's children's stories. start with this one, a wise woman. but don't read it to today's youth. they aren't prepared for it. read it as a wise adult who wants to recall how to train up a child in consideration of others.
I read this as a loyal devotee of George MacDonald, and I especially love his allegorical children's fairy tales. Although this one was not my favorite, it was a beautiful picture of how a person can be completely transformed by Christ's perfect balance of mercy and justice. Also quite interesting in how the nature of selfishness is explored in the context of a young child... how reflective of the deepest part of our hearts.
Renee Wolcott
This novel for children and adults describes a wise woman's involvement with a little princess and a little shepherd girl, one of whom becomes increases in goodness while the other becomes more selfish. Their parents, who spoil the girls terribly, are shown to be responsible for their inflated senses of self and bad behavior. It's a great fable for kids and parents.
Andie Moody
Full of practical wisdom for parenting and life. Writing is vibrant at places, but not stunning. Storyline is at some points tired and at some points imaginative. Intended for children, so that explains some of the perceived "weaknesses" I just listed.
This one was not so great to me...but I have to admit that I couldn't find a copy of it so therefore listened to an audio recording of it. As a result the voice of the woman reading was pretty annoying over time and probably added to my distaste.
All children and their parents should read this book. So should all people without children. A beautiful way to learn about humility, selflessness, and "tough love" (that love that wants us to be better people)
I read this as a child and remember really liking the story. Though for some reason the only part I remember is when Agnes is in the "bubble." I'd like to read this again at some point!
Aug 06, 2010 Steve added it
Reading this to Bella. A well-told tale of a princess and a shepherd girl, who both suffer from foolish hearts, and the wise woman who loves them enough to show them their folly.
SharaLee Podolecki
this book was so good. it really made me think about my actions and not letting my emotions run away with me, not letting outward circumstances cloud the peace and grace i have in Christ
I stayed up reading this under the covers when I was about five. Going back and rereading it recently, I found it more disturbing and thoughtful than I remembered it.
Dec 27, 2007 Amy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: I don't know yet, but probably fantasy people
Shelves: fairytales
It is a very weird book. The princess is almost evil! I don't know about the other girl who comes into the story later, but I guess I will find out.
Angi Kane
Read this with the kids and loved it. Especially loved the many, many allegories and can see how MacDonald was an inspiration for CS Lewis.
Wonderful story of a spoiled princess and the wise woman who helped her. Nice Illustrations sprinkled throughout the text.
MacDonald's stories often have a mystical touch, and this is no exception, though not my favorite of his children's books.
It's amazing how something so small can change the way you think of yourself.
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George MacDonald was a Scottish author, poet, and Christian minister.

Known particularly for his poignant fairy tales and fantasy novels, George MacDonald inspired many authors, such as W. H. Auden, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and Madeleine L'Engle. It was C.S. Lewis that wrote that he regarded MacDonald as his "master": "Picking up a copy of Phantastes one day at a train-station bookstall, I be...more
More about George MacDonald...
The Princess and the Goblin The Princess and Curdie Phantastes At the Back of the North Wind The Light Princess

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“But there are victories far worse than defeats; and to overcome an angel too gentle to put out all his strength, and ride away in triumph on the back of a devil, is one of the poorest.” 18 likes
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