HE THRUST BOTH HIS HANDS INTO THE HEAP OF FLAMING ROSES.
The secret of the hold which the stories of Dr. Macdonald have so long retained upon the youthful imagination
is not a hard one to solve;—it is necessary to read but a few pages of his tales to realize that he
understood the mind of the child and was heartily in sympathy with childhood's moods. The pure and tender
spirit, the deep perception of human nature, and the earnest yet unobtrusive religious feeling, that were his
chief characteristics, and that won him fame in may fields of literature, made him peculiarly fitted to write
for children. He not only appeals to the child's imagination and innate sense of beauty, but seems to grasp
and portray the vital relationship existing between the child and the great outer world of nature.
Few stories for children have afforded greater entertainment than "The Princess and Curdie"—moreover
it has made its readers better for their acquaintance with it. Who of us is there who has had the good
fortune to know it in childhood, but does not cherish its memory as one of the dearst of possessions?
It is one of those few perennially fresh and attractive tales tha thave become the classics of childhood
in our language—those tales whose memories remain with us through the years.
A year ago the publishers of this volume issued, in more attractive form than it had previously appeared,
"The Princess and the Goblin." Dr. MacDonald had recently died, and the renewed interest in his work had
supplied the motive. As the reception of this earlier book has been so favorable, they are encouraged to
issue "The Princess and Curdie" also in a handsomer form merited by its long-continued popularity—for
it first appeared as far back as 1882. They have therefore asked Miss Kirk to prepare a set of illustrations
corresponding to those she furnished for the earlier tale, and they trust that in its new dress "The
Princess and Curdie" will find favor with the children of those who enjoyed it a quarter of a century ago.