At the Back of the North Wind

At the Back of the North Wind is a children's book written by Scottish author George MacDonald. It was serialized in the children's magazine Good Words for the Young beginning in 1868 and was published in book form in 1871. It is a fantasy centered on a boy named Diamond and his adventures with the North Wind. Diamond travels together with the mysterious Lady North Wind through the nights. The book includes the fairy tale Little Daylight, which has been pulled out as an independent work, or separately, added to other collections of his fairy tales.

At the Back of the North Wind
At the back of the North Wind (1919) (14730239036)
1919 edition
AuthorGeorge MacDonald
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish
GenreChildren's novels
Publication date
1871

Plot introduction

The book tells the story of a young boy named Diamond. He is a very sweet little boy who makes joy everywhere he goes. He fights despair and gloom and brings peace to his family. One night, as he is trying to sleep, Diamond repeatedly plugs up a hole in the loft (also his bedroom) wall to stop the wind from blowing in. However, he soon finds out that this is stopping the North Wind from seeing through her window. Diamond befriends her, and North Wind lets him fly with her, taking him on several adventures. Though the North Wind does good deeds and helps people, she also does seemingly terrible things. On one of her assignments, she must sink a ship. Yet everything she does that seems bad leads to something good. The North Wind seems to be a representation of Pain and Death working according to God's will for something good.

Themes

In this book, MacDonald touches on many theological and philosophical questions, especially concerning theodicy. Today, it is considered one of his masterpieces. According to MacDonald's son and biographer Greville MacDonald, there are many similarities between Diamond and MacDonald's own son Maurice, who died young. Diamond seems to represent Christ, always trying to help others while not completely belonging to this world.

Abridged editions

In 1914, a version "Simplified for Children" by Elizabeth Lewis was published by Lippincott. This newer version shortened the original length of approx. 89,339 words to 27,605 words. It was illustrated by Maria L. Kirk.

External links

1868 in literature

This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1868.

1871 in literature

This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1871.

Annette Badland

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Supplied the voice of Pig in the children's series Pipkins

Christian literature

Christian literature is writing that deals with Christian themes and incorporates the Christian world view. This constitutes a huge body of extremely varied writing.

Diamond (given name)

Diamond is a feminine given name derived from the name of the diamond gemstone. The word is derived from the Greek adamas. The name was the 359th most popular name for baby girls born in the United States in 2007. Deimantė, a Lithuanian variant, was the 10th most popular name for baby girls born in Lithuania in 2007.The boy hero of the 1871 children's book At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald is named Diamond.

East wind

An east wind is a wind that originates in the east and blows west. This wind is referenced as symbolism in mythology, poetry and literature.

Fantasy

Fantasy is a genre of speculative fiction set in a fictional universe, often without any locations, events, or people referencing the real world. Its roots are in oral traditions, which then became literature and drama. From the twentieth century it has expanded further into various media, including film, television, graphic novels and video games.

Fantasy is distinguished from the genres of science fiction and horror by the absence of scientific or macabre themes respectively, though these genres overlap. In popular culture, the fantasy genre is predominantly of the medievalist form. In its broadest sense, however, fantasy consists of works by many writers, artists, filmmakers, and musicians from ancient myths and legends to many recent and popular works.

George MacDonald

George MacDonald (10 December 1824 – 18 September 1905) was a Scottish author, poet and Christian minister. He was a pioneering figure in the field of fantasy literature and the mentor of fellow writer Lewis Carroll. His writings have been cited as a major literary influence by many notable authors, including W. H. Auden, J. M. Barrie, Lord Dunsany, Hope Mirrlees, Robert E. Howard, L. Frank Baum, T.H. White, Lloyd Alexander, C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Walter de la Mare, E. Nesbit, Peter S. Beagle, Neil Gaiman and Madeleine L'Engle. C. S. Lewis wrote that he regarded MacDonald as his "master": "Picking up a copy of Phantastes one day at a train-station bookstall, I began to read. A few hours later", said Lewis, "I knew that I had crossed a great frontier." G. K. Chesterton cited The Princess and the Goblin as a book that had "made a difference to my whole existence".Elizabeth Yates wrote of Sir Gibbie, "It moved me the way books did when, as a child, the great gates of literature began to open and first encounters with noble thoughts and utterances were unspeakably thrilling."Even Mark Twain, who initially disliked MacDonald, became friends with him, and there is some evidence that Twain was influenced by him. The Christian author Oswald Chambers wrote in his "Christian Disciplines" that "it is a striking indication of the trend and shallowness of the modern reading public that George MacDonald's books have been so neglected".In addition to his fairy tales, MacDonald wrote several works on Christian apologetics.

Hyperborea

In Greek mythology the Hyperboreans (Ancient Greek: Ὑπερβόρε(ι)οι, pronounced [hyperbóre(ː)ɔi̯]; Latin: Hyperborei) were a race of giants who lived "beyond the North Wind". The Greeks thought that Boreas, the god of the North Wind (one of the Anemoi, or "Winds") lived in Thrace, and therefore Hyperborea indicates that it is a region beyond Thrace.

This land was supposed to be perfect, with the sun shining twenty-four hours a day, which to modern ears suggests a possible location within the Arctic Circle during the midnight sun-time of year. However, it is also possible that Hyperborea had no real physical location at all, for according to the classical Greek poet Pindar,

neither by ship nor on foot would you find

the marvellous road to the assembly of the Hyperboreans.Pindar also described the otherworldly perfection of the Hyperboreans:

Never the Muse is absent

from their ways: lyres clash and flutes cry

and everywhere maiden choruses whirling.

Neither disease nor bitter old age is mixed

in their sacred blood; far from labor and battle they live.

Jared DePasquale

Jared DePasquale (born June 1, 1971) is an American film, television, and audio drama composer. He resides in Nashville, Tennessee.

Jennifer Grassman

Jennifer Grassman (born Jennifer Michelle Grassman; December 8, 1984 in Austin, Texas) is an American independent music and recording artist. She is a journalist for The Washington Times Communities, writing two columns. The Business of Being Diva covers album releases, concert reviews, and interviews with music industry professionals. SeeTalkGrow: The New Entertainment Industry covers the events and news of SeeTalkGrow, an online conference for the music, film, technology, and communications industries. Grassman launched SeeTalkGrow in February, 2012, because she was pregnant, and unable to attend SXSW.

Jessie Willcox Smith

Jessie Willcox Smith (September 6, 1863 – May 3, 1935) was an American female illustrator during the Golden Age of American illustration. She was considered "one of the greatest pure illustrators". She was a contributor to books and magazines during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Smith illustrated stories and articles for clients such as Century, Collier's, Leslie's Weekly, Harper's, McClure's, Scribners, and the Ladies' Home Journal. She had an ongoing relationship with Good Housekeeping, which included the long-running Mother Goose series of illustrations and also the creation of all of the Good Housekeeping covers from December 1917 to 1933. Among the more than 60 books that Smith illustrated were Louisa May Alcott's Little Women and An Old-Fashioned Girl, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's Evangeline, and Robert Louis Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses.

Juvenile fantasy

Juvenile fantasy is children's literature with fantasy elements: fantasy intended for readers not yet adult.

The protagonists are usually children or teens who have unique abilities, gifts, possessions or even allies that allow them to face powerful adversaries. Harry Potter is a powerful young wizard, one of the children of The Dark Is Rising series is an immature Old One with magical abilities, and in the His Dark Materials series the children have magical items and animal allies. The plot frequently incorporates a bildungsroman.

In the earlier part of the 20th century, C. S. Lewis noted that fantasy was more accepted in juvenile literature, and therefore a writer interested in fantasy often wrote in it to find an audience.

Kelmscott House

Kelmscott House is a Georgian brick mansion at 26 Upper Mall in Hammersmith, overlooking the River Thames. It was the London home of English textile designer, artist, writer and socialist William Morris from October 1878 until his death in October 1896.Originally called The Retreat, Morris renamed it after the Oxfordshire village of Kelmscott where he had lived at Kelmscott Manor from June 1871.

Nearby, Morris began his "adventure in printing" with his private press, the Kelmscott Press, which he started nearby at 16 Upper Mall in 1891.

List of 19th-century British children's literature titles

This is a list of 19th-century British children's literature titles, arranged by year of publication.

List of fantasy novels (A–H)

This page lists notable fantasy novels (and novel series). The books appear in alphabetical order by title (beginning with A to H) (ignoring "A", "An", and "The"); series are alphabetical by author-designated name or, if there is no such, some reasonable designation. Science-fiction novels and short-story collections are not included here.

Little Daylight

Little Daylight is a fairy tale written by George MacDonald and included as a story within a story in At the Back of the North Wind, published in 1871. It has subsequently been published as an independent tale, and in collections of his other fairy tales.

Matthew Drutt

Matthew Drutt (born December 8, 1962) is an American editor, writer, and independent curator who specializes in modern and contemporary art. Based in New York, he currently works with the Beyeler Foundation in Switzerland, the State Hermitage Museum in Russia, and the M.T. Abraham Foundation, consulting on exhibitions, publications, and collections. In 2006, the French Government awarded him the Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and in 2003, his exhibition Kazimir Malevich: Suprematism won Best Monographic Exhibition Organized Nationally from the International Association of Art Critics.

North wind

A north wind is a wind that originates in the north and blows south. The north wind has had historical and literal significance, since it often signals cold weather and seasonal change in the Northern hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, especially in southern Australia, the north wind is a hot wind which often leads to bushfires.

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