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The Portent - cover

The Portent

George MacDonald

Publisher: RosettaBooks

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Summary

A gothic ghost story of romance, adventure, and the supernatural from the acclaimed 19th-century author of Phantastes. The Portent was originally written for magazine serialization several years prior to its release in book form in 1864. Shorter than most of MacDonald’s novels, this spooky tale of the Scottish “second sight” is a thorough spine-tingling ghost story worthy of the twilight zone. MacDonald’s love of mysterious old castles and libraries plays a significant role in the story and is found in many of his books. In The Portent, first person narrator Duncan Campbell is engaged as tutor in a large mansion. There he falls under the spell of somnambulist Lady Alice, who is trapped between the worlds of wakefulness and sleep. About this title, MacDonald’s son Greville commented: “The story is different from almost any other of his books. It is weird, yet strangely convincing, and has no touch of the didactic.” Because of its mystical flavor, The Portent is often linked with MacDonald’s earlier Phantastes. Though the books are completely different, The Portent yet contains elements that appeal to readers of MacDonald’s fantasy writings, and thus spans the genres of both fantasy and realistic fiction.

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