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German Romantic and Other Influences

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Phantastes Chapter 17/18: Exotics, Heinrich Heine Dec 1875

Phantastes Chapter 17/18: Exotics, Heinrich Heine

German Romantic and Other Influences

Heinrich Heine (1797-1856) was a German poet whose poetry has a strong political focus. MacDonald includes several translations from Heine in Exotics (pp. 154-165), his book of translations from German and Italian poets (1876). The poems he includes resonate nicely with Phantastes.


Phantastes Chapter 11: The Excursion, William Wordsworth Dec 1813

Phantastes Chapter 11: The Excursion, William Wordsworth

German Romantic and Other Influences

Lines 836-842 from Book II of William Wordsworth's The Excursion (1814).


Phantastes Chapter 16: Life And The Ideal, Friedrich Von Schiller Dec 1794

Phantastes Chapter 16: Life And The Ideal, Friedrich Von Schiller

German Romantic and Other Influences

Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller (1759-1805) was a German writer, primarily known as a dramatist, poet, and literary critic. Das Ideal und das Leben (Life and the Ideal, 1795) is a philosophical poem. The Oxford Reference reports that the poem was “first published in 1795 in No. 9 of Die Horen, with the title ‘Das Reich der Schatten’. Schiller changed this in 1800 to ‘Das Reich der Formen’, and adopted the present title in 1804.” Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873), writer and politician, translated the poem in 1844 as Ideal and Actual Life. Bulwer-Lytton began his novel Paul Clifford (1830) with the ...


Phantastes Chapter 19: The Innocent Iii, Abraham Cowley Dec 1646

Phantastes Chapter 19: The Innocent Iii, Abraham Cowley

German Romantic and Other Influences

Abraham Cowley (1618-1667) was an English poet whose work echoes the metaphysical wit of John Donne. The lines quoted are lines 5-8 of “The Innocent III” (1647).


Phantastes Chapter 20: The Faerie Queene, Edmund Spenser Dec 1589

Phantastes Chapter 20: The Faerie Queene, Edmund Spenser

German Romantic and Other Influences

Edmund Spenser (1552-1599), most famous for The Faerie Queene (1590; 1596), is a key influence on MacDonald generally and on Phantastes in particular. John Docherty writes that “MacDonald bases his upon the figure Phantastes living the forebrain of the ‘House of Alma' (the human body) in book 2 of Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene” (“Sources of Phantastes,” North Wind: A Journal of George MacDonald Studies, vol. 25, 2005, pages 16-28).