For offering this new edition of my father's Phantastes, my
reasons are three. The first is to rescue the work from an
edition illustrated without the author's sanction, and so
unsuitably that all lovers of the book must have experienced some
real grief in turning its pages. With the copyright I secured
also the whole of that edition and turned it into pulp.
My second reason is to pay a small tribute to my father by
way of personal gratitude for this, his first prose work, which
was published nearly fifty years ago. Though unknown to many
lovers of his greater writings, none of these has exceeded it in
imaginative insight and power of expression. To me it rings with
- dominant chord of his life's purpose and work.
My third reason is that wider knowledge and love of the book
should be made possible. To this end I have been most happy in
the help of my father's old friend, who has illustrated the
book. I know of no other living artist who is capable of
portraying the spirit of Phantastes; and every reader of this
edition will, I believe, feel that the illustrations are a part
of the romance, and will gain through them some perception of the
brotherhood between George MacDonald and Arthur Hughes.