A Faerie Romance for Men and Women by George MacDonald.
Excerpt from Review of George MacDonald’s Phantastes by Rachel Bomberger :
Lewis had a high regard for this forefather of modern fantasy and, what’s more, he credited one of MacDonald’s books, Phantastes, as a major factor in his eventual religious conversion. In Lewis’s 1946 preface to George MacDonald: An Anthology, he wrote:
It must be more than thirty years ago that I bought—almost unwillingly, for I had looked at the volume on that bookstall and rejected it on a dozen previous occasions—the Everyman edition of Phantastes. A few hours later I knew that I had crossed a great frontier. . . . The whole book had about it a sort of cool, morning innocence, and also, quite unmistakably, a certain quality of Death, good Death. What it actually did to me was to convert, even to baptize (that was where the death came in) my imagination. It did nothing to my intellect nor (at that time) to my conscience. Their turn came far later and with the help of many other books and men. But when the process was complete—by which, of course, I mean “when it had really begun”—I found that I was still with MacDonald and that he had accompanied me all the way and that I was now at last ready to hear from him much that he could not have told me at that first meeting.
MacDonald, George – Phantastes