It’s kind of a shame that this LibriVox edition of At The Back Of The North Wind is not wholly narrated by Meredith Hughes. She only reads the first three chapters. They are wonderfully narrated.
I happened across this audiobook whilst researching a stack of old hardcovers that I inherited from my grandmother. I must have read it at some point as the story is entirely familiar. But now, looking at it with adult eyes, the ideological argument it makes seems more quaint than persuasive. See, At The Back Of The North Wind is a theodicean Fantasy. It uses the personification of the “North Wind” to explain why evil exists in the world. As such it belongs on the bookshelf between two of C.S. Lewis’ books, The Problem Of Pain and The Lion,The Witch And The Wardrobe.
If you’re looking to get into some late 19th allegorical Fantasy, you probably couldn’t do much better than this wholesome story of what is essentially a gray witch and the good little boy she takes on a series of adventures.
Here’s the color plate from my paperbook edition (it depicts the Diamond, the little boy protagonist, and the North Wind (in the guise of a little girl):
At The Back Of The North Wind
By George MacDonald; Read by various
38 Zipped MP3 Files – Approx. 8 Hours 57 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: March 24, 2007
Diamond the little boy sleeps in the hayloft above the stall of Diamond the horse. The loft is snug but drafty, and after plugging a hole in the wall one night, Diamond is scolded by the beautiful Lady North Wind for closing her “window” into his room. Thus begins their friendship. Spirited away by the North Wind, Diamond embarks on a series of adventures both near to and far from his home. His pure heart and his simple, loving spirit guide him as he journeys to the back of the North Wind and home again. Originally serialized in 1868, beginning with the first issue of “Good Words For The Young” magazine.
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Posted by Jesse Willis