At the Back of the North Wind

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Blackie - English fiction - 371 pages
2 Reviews

Diamond lives in a hay-loft, which is just right for him, since his father named him after a horse. One night Diamond has a visitor. She's a beautiful woman with long black hair. She calls herself the North Wind, and--holding tight to her long braids--she whisks Diamond over London and shows him many wonderful sights. But the best thing of all is when she takes him to the country at "the back" of the North Wind, a dream-like land where the cold wind never blows.

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User Review  - library-of-origin - LibraryThing

One of my favorites. All three stories in this volume are good, but At the Back of the North Wind is beautiful, poignant, harsh, and fantastic all at once. Surpirsingly dangerous for a Victorian writer. Read full review

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I first read At the Back of the North Wind when I was a child but have re-read or regularly since that time---giving it to my book club that reads British literature as a "must read." Predating such contemporary authors as Phillip Pullman by over a century, and reflecting Pullman's view and the view of J.K. Rowling, his perspective was that he was writing about universal truth--applicable to the 5, 15, 0or 50 year old readier. The story of Diamond an young boy in Victorian England, in my opinion is both touching, fantastic and yet full of meaning for the modern reader. Some didactic in its approach, it reflected the ministerial background of its author. I love this book dearly and it has continued to inspire and strengthen me as I have aged into the "over 50" year old reader I am today.  


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About the author

George MacDonald was born on December 10, 1824 in Huntley, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. He attended University in Aberdeen in 1840 and then went on to Highbury College in 1848 where he studied to be a Congregational Minister, receiving his M. A. After being a minister for several years, he became a lecturer in English literature at Kings College in London before becoming a full-time writer. He wrote fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. In 1955, he wrote his first important original work, a long religious poem entitled Within and Without. He is best known for his fantasy novels Phantastes, The Princess and the Goblin, At the Back of the North Wind, and Lilith and fairy tales including The Light Princess, The Golden Key, and The Wise Woman. In 1863, he published David Eiginbrod, the first of a dozen novels that were set in Scotland and based on the lives of rural Scots. He died on September 18. 1905.

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