The Princess and the Goblin is a children's fantasy novel by George MacDonald. Eight-year-old Princess Irene lives a lonely life in a castle in a wild, desolate, mountainous kingdom, with only her nursemaid "Lootie" for company. Her father the king is normally absent, and her mother is dead. Unknown to her, the nearby mines are inhabited by a race of goblins, long banished from the kingdom and now anxious to take revenge on their human neighbors. One rainy day, the princess explores the castle and discovers a beautiful, mysterious lady, who identifies herself as Irene's namesake and great-great-grandmother. The story quietly suggests the ideas of courage and honor in every incident. It starts out as a normal fairy tale, but slowly become stranger while containing layers of symbolism similar to that of Lewis Carroll's work.