Christian fantasy (though not always called by such name) has a fairly long history, and many of the early authors of this genre I’ve mentioned here before–George MacDonald, GK Chesterton, CS Lewis, and JRR Tolkien. Going back a little further, you have John Bunyan and his allegory, Pilgrim’s Progress. Most of these writers are fairly well-known, but today, I’d like to highlight two lesser known authors–Hannah Hurnard and Elizabeth Goudge who wrote in the early to mid-1900s in a variety of genres, including Christian fantasy.
In the fantasy genre, Hannah Hurnard penned two allegories, Hinds Feet on High Places and Mountains of Spices. She has an archaic writing style, but her stories are lovely and powerful, providing a vivid illustration of the journey believers undertake with God. I cannot vouch for the entirety of her work, but these two are worth a read.
Follow Much-Afraid on her spiritual journey through difficult places with her two companions, Sorrow and Suffering. Learn how Much-Afraid overcomes her tormenting fears as she passes through many dangers and mounts at last to the High Places. There she gains a new name and returns to her valley of service, transformed by her union with the loving Shepherd.
A powerful allegory that personifies unhappy, tormenting attitudes of the mind, heart and temperament. Meet Mrs. Dismal Forebodings, Old Lord Fearing, Sir Arrogant, Umbrage, Resentment, Craven Fear and others. Contrast their lives with the lives of Grace and Glory, Mrs. Valiant, Mercy, Joy and Peace. Feel the tension as the tug of something better stirs unrest among the inhabitants of the Valley of Humiliation. Not all respond to the Shepherd’s gentle touch, but those who do discover that “love turned outward is true life.”
Just recently, I discovered Elizabeth Goudge, and as yet the only book of hers I have read is The Little White Horse, a tale written with a slower pace and old-fashioned style, along with some theological quirks, but an evident and sincere faith.
The beautiful valley of Moonacre is shadowed by the memory of the Moon Princess and the mysterious little white horse. When Maria Merryweather comes to live at Moonacre Manor she finds herself involved with an ancient feud. She is determined to restore peace and happiness to the whole of Moonacre Valley, and Maria usually gets her own way!
Have you read any of these novels? If so, what did you think? Do you know of other older or obscure fantasy novels worth a mention? Feel free to share in the comments.