LILITH - A ROMANCE by GEORGE MACDONALD
Lilith, written by the father of fantasy literature, George MacDonald, was first published in 1895. Its importance was recognized in its later revival in paperback by Ballantine Books as the fifth volume of the celebrated Ballantine Adult Fantasy series in September 1969.
Lilith is considered among the darkest of MacDonald’s works, and among the most profound. It is a story concerning the nature of life, death and salvation. Many believe MacDonald is arguing for Christian universalism, or the idea that all will eventually be saved.
""Lilith" is equal if not superior to the best of Poe," wrote W. H. Auden in his introduction to the 1954 reprint of George MacDonald's "Lilith", which was first published in 1895. It is the story of Mr. Vane, an orphan and heir to a large house - a house in which he has a vision that leads him through a large old mirror into another world. In chronicling the five trips Mr. Vane makes to this other world, MacDonald hauntingly explores the ultimate mystery of evil.
The great 20th-century poet WH Auden said of this novel, "Lilith is equal if not superior to the best of Poe," but the comparison only begins to touch on the richness, density and wonder of this late 19th-century adult fantasy novel. First published in 1895 (inhabiting a universe with the early Yeats, George Bernard Shaw and Oscar Wilde--not to mention Thomas Hardy), this is the story of the aptly named Mr Vane, his magical house and the journeys into another world into which it leads him.
Meeting up with one mystery after another, including Adam and Eve themselves, he slowly but surely explores the mystery of the human fall from grace, and of our redemption. Instructed into the ways of seeing the deeper realities of this world--seeing, in a sense, by the light of the spirit--the reader and Mr Vane both sense that MacDonald writes from his own deep experience of radiance, from a bliss so profound that death's darkness itself is utterly eclipsed in its light. --Doug Thorpe