The Light Princess

by George MacDonald

Paperback, 2015



Local notes

PB Mac




Farrar, Straus and Giroux (1977), Edition: First, 110 pages. $3.45.


It's a well known fact that a new-born princess will often be subject to a curse-especially if her royal parents neglect to invite an important magical relative to the christening. But never has there been a curse as charming (and hilarious) as that which befalls the Light Princess. Deprived of gravity, she can't take anything-or anyone-seriously. Even worse, she's apt to blow away on the first stiff breeze! Can even a handsome prince bring her down to Earth? One of the most acclaimed literary fairy tales of all time, George MacDonald's profound and witty story floats into bubbling new life in this lovingly crafted full cast reading.



Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

110 p.; 6 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member davegregg
A great story about a princess who couldn't fall! more than one way. Neither gravity in body, nor gravity in heart seem to affect this girl!In due course, the princess' hapless condition and curse is mended by the simple, giving love of one heroic prince. Seeing in her who she truly is (and
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not who she appears to all to be), he falls madly and unexpectedly in love with this strange young woman and tries to teach her what love is--"this beehive of honey and stings," as MacDonald puts it.The prince would but give his beloved what makes her--even in her sad, enchanted stupidity and infant-like self-interest--the happiest, and to let that be all the good he needs for himself: hers. In the end, his giving of himself, because of his love, displacing what was amiss in her heart, heals the "light" princess......and the girl who once couldn't fall, has suddenly fallen in love!"The Light Princess" is delightful, imaginative, and inspiring, though I can't say that I'm at all surprised--George MacDonald is the author. MacDonald always has a way of sparking wonder, creativity, and thought. Deep, unique, mystical, and endlessly insightful, MacDonald is my, and C.S. Lewis', favorite author for good reason. G.K. Chesterton once said that he counted George MacDonald as one of the three or four greatest men of the 19th century. Read him.
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LibraryThing member bexaplex
Puns ahoy!

I have read (and listened to an audio recording of) this book many times since I was younger, and this is the first time I bothered to look up George MacDonald, who turns out to have been a major influence on C.S. Lewis, and a friend of Lewis Carroll.

The Light Princess is a standard
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princess/evil older woman relative fairy tale, with some metaphysics thrown in. The story makes much of the double meaning of gravity (mind and body), and the transformative power of the mind on the world. It reads like a fractured fairy tale, but with a more thoughtful moral.

I assume this edition is unabridged, since there are no notes to the contrary.
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LibraryThing member picardyrose
I have a badly illustrated edition; want a better one.
LibraryThing member cpotter
For a young audience, full of puns and word plays on light and gravity.
LibraryThing member mosesbasket
What a fun story this was! We enjoyed reading it aloud because the characters and dialogue were so humorous. Lovely illustrations in this edition, too.
LibraryThing member ChristianR
Enchanting story about a princess who is cursed at her christening so that she is light as air -- gravity does not affect her. This would be a good read-aloud.
LibraryThing member jillrhudy
This is my favorite fairy tale of ALL TIME. It is only worth owning, however, in the Maurice-Sendak-illustrated printing, so don't bother with anything less!
LibraryThing member jen.e.moore
There are actually three stories in this ebook. "The Light Princess" is surprisingly charming; it reads like a Victorianization of a Grimm story. "The Giant's Heart" is pretty saccharine, although it does have a couple of good moments. "The Golden Key" is probably saturated in symbolism from some
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kind of secret society or another, but I loved it anyway.
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LibraryThing member alaina.loescher
This is a very standard fairy tale book. This would be a good book to use for a lesson on fairy tales and folklore to act as an example and to compare to other works. I like that the princess has some spunk, but I find the gender roles to be problematic.
LibraryThing member classyhomemaker
One thing I love about British literature---and just British culture, in general---is the quirky sense of humor we often see in their books and entertainment. Those in the British Empire have a way with words, and it often takes some deeper thinking about words to understand their puns and
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symbolism. I'll test the waters here a bit by saying that I think they've got "proper" English down, and reading something written by a British writer always challenges my vocabulary.

George MacDonald's, The Light Princess, is such a fun little book to read because it's just full of puns and nonsensical things and wonderful plays on words that make all the nonsensical things ok because the whole thing is brilliantly written. MacDonald seems to me to be a fantastic mixture of his contemporary and student, Lewis Carroll, and our more modern Roald Dahl.

MacDonald was a Scottish writer and Christian minister who lived from 1824-1905. He was a major literary influence on some of our favorite authors like J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Madeleine L'Engle. He was the author of over 60 published works, including poetry, fantasy, realistic fiction and nonfiction.

Inspired by the tale of Sleeping Beauty, The Light Princess tells the story of a princess who was cursed at birth and lost her "gravity". Throughout the story, she deals with issues of gravity---both as a state of being and in the sense of physics. When someone is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for her comfort, good overcomes evil and she learns lessons in true love.

There are so many fun literary elements in, The Light Princess. Readers will encounter allusions to nursery rhymes, as well as laugh-out-loud jokes that only an adult would understand. "The King told stories and the Queen listened to them," is one of my favorite lines! Symbolism and witticisms abound. It's such a great story because it's obvious how much fun MacDonald had writing it.

Whether you are a youth, studying the book as an assignment, or an adult, reading and researching for fun, there's neat things to be found for everyone in this short story that's long on character.
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Other editions




½ (195 ratings; 3.9)
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