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George MacDonald

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George MacDonald

MacDonald in the 1860s
MacDonald in the 1860s
Born(1824-12-10)10 December 1824
Huntly, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Died18 September 1905(1905-09-18) (aged 80)
Ashtead, Surrey, England
OccupationCongregational minister, writer, poet, novelist
EducationKing's College, University of Aberdeen
Period19th century
GenreChildren's literature
Notable works
Louisa Powell
(m. 1851)

George MacDonald (10 December 1824 – 18 September 1905) was a Scottish author, poet and Christian Congregational minister. He became a pioneering figure in the field of modern fantasy literature and the mentor of fellow-writer Lewis Carroll. In addition to his fairy tales, MacDonald wrote several works of Christian theology, including several collections of sermons.

Early life


George MacDonald was born on 10 December 1824 in Huntly, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, to George MacDonald, manufacturer, and Helen McCay or MacKay. His father, a farmer, was descended from the Clan MacDonald of Glen Coe and a direct descendant of one of the families that suffered in the massacre of 1692.[1][2]

MacDonald grew up in an unusually literate environment: one of his maternal uncles, Mackintosh MacKay, was a notable Celtic scholar, editor of the Gaelic Highland Dictionary and collector of fairy tales and Celtic oral poetry. His paternal grandfather had supported the publication of an edition of James Macpherson's Ossian, the controversial epic poem based on the Fenian Cycle of Celtic Mythology and which contributed to the starting of European Romanticism. MacDonald's step-uncle was a Shakespeare scholar, and his paternal cousin another Celtic academic. Both his parents were readers, his father harbouring predilections for Isaac Newton, Robert Burns, William Cowper, Chalmers, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Charles Darwin, to quote a few, while his mother had received a classical education which included multiple languages.[3]

An account cited how the young George suffered lapses in health in his early years and was subject to problems with his lungs such as asthma, bronchitis and even a bout of tuberculosis.[4] This last illness was considered a family disease and two of MacDonald's brothers, his mother, and later three of his own children died from the illness.[5] Even in his adult life, he was constantly traveling in search of purer air for his lungs.[6]

MacDonald grew up in the Congregational Church, with an atmosphere of Calvinism. However, his family was atypical, with his paternal grandfather a Catholic-born, fiddle-playing, Presbyterian elder; his paternal grandmother an Independent church rebel; his mother was a sister to the Gaelic-speaking radical who became moderator of the Free Church, while his step-mother, to whom he was also very close, was the daughter of a priest of the Scottish Episcopal Church.[3]

MacDonald graduated from the King's College, Aberdeen in 1845 with a degree in chemistry and physics.[7] He spent the next several years struggling with matters of faith and deciding what to do with his life.[8] His son, biographer Greville MacDonald, stated that his father could have pursued a career in the medical field but he speculated that lack of money put an end to this prospect.[9] It was only in 1848 that MacDonald began theological training at Highbury College for the Congregational ministry.[10][11]

Early career

MacDonald was the pastor of Trinity Congregational Church, Arundel from 1850.

MacDonald was appointed minister of Trinity Congregational Church, Arundel, in 1850,[10][11] after briefly serving as a locum minister in Ireland.[8] However, his sermons—which preached God's universal love and that everyone was capable of redemption—met with little favour[12] and his salary was cut in half.[10] In May 1853, MacDonald tendered his resignation from his pastoral duties at Arundel.[13] Later he was engaged in ministerial work in Manchester, leaving that because of poor health.[10] An account cited the role of Lady Byron in convincing MacDonald to travel to Algiers in 1856 with the hope that the sojourn would help turn his health around.[13] When he got back, he settled in London and taught for some time at the University of London.[10] MacDonald was also for a time editor of Good Words for the Young.

Writing career


MacDonald's first realistic novel David Elginbrod was published in 1863.[12]

MacDonald is often regarded as the founding father of modern fantasy writing.[12] His best-known works are Phantastes (1858), The Princess and the Goblin (1872), At the Back of the North Wind (1868–1871), and Lilith (1895), all fantasy novels, and fairy tales such as "The Light Princess", "The Golden Key", and "The Wise Woman". MacDonald claimed that "I write, not for children, but for the child-like, whether they be of five, or fifty, or seventy-five."[14] MacDonald also published some volumes of sermons, the pulpit not having proved an unreservedly successful venue.[10]

After his literary success, MacDonald went on to do a lecture tour in the United States in 1872–1873, after being invited to do so by a lecture company, the Boston Lyceum Bureau. On the tour, MacDonald lectured about other poets such as Robert Burns, Shakespeare, and Tom Hood. He performed this lecture to great acclaim, speaking in Boston to crowds in the neighbourhood of three thousand people.[15]

George MacDonald with son Ronald (right) and daughter Mary (left) in 1864. Photograph by Lewis Carroll

MacDonald served as a mentor to Lewis Carroll; it was MacDonald's advice, and the enthusiastic reception of Alice by MacDonald's many sons and daughters, that convinced Carroll to submit Alice for publication.[16] Carroll, one of the finest Victorian photographers, also created photographic portraits of several of the MacDonald children.[17] MacDonald was also friends with John Ruskin and served as a go-between in Ruskin's long courtship with Rose La Touche.[16] While in America he was befriended by Longfellow and Walt Whitman.[18]

MacDonald's use of fantasy as a literary medium for exploring the human condition greatly influenced a generation of notable authors, including C. S. Lewis, who featured him as a character in his The Great Divorce.[19] In his introduction to his MacDonald anthology, Lewis speaks highly of MacDonald's views:

This collection, as I have said, was designed not to revive MacDonald's literary reputation but to spread his religious teaching. Hence most of my extracts are taken from the three volumes of Unspoken Sermons. My own debt to this book is almost as great as one man can owe to another: and nearly all serious inquirers to whom I have introduced it acknowledge that it has given them great help—sometimes indispensable help toward the very acceptance of the Christian faith. ...

I know hardly any other writer who seems to be closer, or more continually close, to the Spirit of Christ Himself. Hence his Christ-like union of tenderness and severity. Nowhere else outside the New Testament have I found terror and comfort so intertwined. ...

In making this collection I was discharging a debt of justice. I have never concealed the fact that I regarded him as my master; indeed I fancy I have never written a book in which I did not quote from him. But it has not seemed to me that those who have received my books kindly take even now sufficient notice of the affiliation. Honesty drives me to emphasize it.[20]

Others he influenced include J. R. R. Tolkien and Madeleine L'Engle.[3][10] MacDonald's non-fantasy novels, such as Alec Forbes, had their influence as well; they were among the first realistic Scottish novels, and as such MacDonald has been credited with founding the "kailyard school" of Scottish writing.[21]

Chesterton cited The Princess and the Goblin as a book that had "made a difference to my whole existence,[22] ... in showing "how near both the best and the worst things are to us from the first ... and making all the ordinary staircases and doors and windows into magical things."[23]

Later life


In 1877 he was given a civil list (monastic poverty/civil duty) pension.[24] From 1879 he and his family lived in Bordighera,[25] in a place much loved by British expatriates, the Riviera dei Fiori in Liguria, Italy, almost on the French border. In that locality there also was an Anglican church, All Saints, which he attended.[26] Deeply enamoured of the Riviera, he spent 20 years there, writing almost half of his whole literary production, especially the fantasy work.[27] MacDonald founded a literary studio in that Ligurian town, naming it Casa Coraggio (Bravery House).[28] It soon became one of the most renowned cultural centres of that period, well attended by British and Italian travellers, and by locals,[29] with presentations of classic plays and readings of Dante and Shakespeare often being held.[30]

In 1900 he moved into St George's Wood, Haslemere, a house designed for him by his son, Robert, its building overseen by his eldest son, Greville.[31]

George MacDonald died on 18 September 1905 in Ashtead, Surrey, England.[31] He was cremated in Woking, Surrey, and his ashes were buried in Bordighera, in the English cemetery, along with his wife Louisa and daughters Lilia and Grace.[31]

Personal life


MacDonald married Louisa Powell in Hackney in 1851, with whom he raised a family of eleven children: Lilia Scott (1852–1891), Mary Josephine (1853–1878), Caroline Grace (1854–1884), Greville Matheson (1856–1944), Irene (1857–1939), Winifred Louise (1858–1946), Ronald (1860–1933), Robert Falconer (1862–1913), Maurice (1864–1879), Bernard Powell (1865–1928), and George Mackay (1867–1909).

His son Greville became a noted medical specialist, a pioneer of the Peasant Arts movement, wrote numerous fairy tales for children, and ensured that new editions of his father's works were published.[32] Another son, Ronald, became a novelist.[33] His daughter Mary was engaged to the artist Edward Robert Hughes until her death in 1878. Ronald's son, Philip MacDonald (George MacDonald's grandson), became a Hollywood screenwriter.[34]

Tuberculosis caused the death of several family members, including Lilia, Mary Josephine, Grace, and Maurice, as well as one granddaughter and a daughter-in-law.[35] MacDonald was said to have been particularly affected by the death of Lilia, his eldest.

There is a blue plaque on his home at 20 Albert Street, Camden, London.[36]



According to biographer William Raeper, MacDonald's theology "celebrated the rediscovery of God as Father, and sought to encourage an intuitive response to God and Christ through quickening his readers' spirits in their reading of the Bible and their perception of nature."[37]

MacDonald's oft-mentioned universalism is not the idea that everyone will automatically be saved, but is closer to Gregory of Nyssa in the view that all will ultimately repent and be restored to God.[38]

MacDonald appears to have never felt comfortable with some aspects of Calvinist doctrine, feeling that its principles were inherently "unfair";[16] when the doctrine of predestination was first explained to him, he burst into tears (although assured that he was one of the elect).[citation needed] Later novels, such as Robert Falconer and Lilith, show a distaste for the idea that God's electing love is limited to some and denied to others.[citation needed]

Chesterton noted that only a man who had "escaped" Calvinism could say that God is easy to please and hard to satisfy.[clarification needed][23]

MacDonald rejected the doctrine of penal substitutionary atonement as developed by John Calvin, which argues that Christ has taken the place of sinners and is punished by the wrath of God in their place, believing that in turn it raised serious questions about the character and nature of God.[39] Instead, he taught that Christ had come to save people from their sins, and not from a Divine penalty for their sins: the problem was not the need to appease a wrathful God, but the disease of cosmic evil itself.[citation needed] MacDonald frequently described the atonement in terms similar to the Christus Victor theory.[clarification needed][citation needed] MacDonald posed the rhetorical question, "Did he not foil and slay evil by letting all the waves and billows of its horrid sea break upon him, go over him, and die without rebound—spend their rage, fall defeated, and cease? Verily, he made atonement!"[40]

MacDonald with his wife Louisa in 1901 at their 50th wedding anniversary

MacDonald was convinced that God does not punish except to amend, and that the sole end of His greatest anger is the amelioration of the guilty.[41] As the doctor uses fire and steel in certain deep-seated diseases, so God may use hell-fire if necessary to heal the hardened sinner. MacDonald declared, "I believe that no hell will be lacking which would help the just mercy of God to redeem his children."[42] MacDonald posed the rhetorical question, "When we say that God is Love, do we teach men that their fear of Him is groundless?" He replied, "No. As much as they were will come upon them, possibly far more. ... The wrath will consume what they call themselves; so that the selves God made shall appear."[43]

However, true repentance, in the sense of freely chosen moral growth, is essential to this process, and, in MacDonald's optimistic view, inevitable for all beings (see universal reconciliation).[citation needed]

MacDonald states his theological views most distinctly in the sermon "Justice", found in the third volume of Unspoken Sermons.[44]



The following is an incomplete list of MacDonald's published works in the genre now referred to as fantasy:[according to whom?]


  • MacDonald, George (1858). Phantastes: A faerie romance for men and women. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  • Works of Fancy and Imagination (1871) The complete works of MacDonald collected in 10 volumes:
  • MacDonald, George (1875). The Wise Woman: A Parable. London: Strahan and Co. (Published also as "The Lost Princess: A Double Story"; or as "A Double Story".)
  • MacDonald, George (1896) [1895]. Lilith A romance (2nd ed.). London: Chatto and Windus.


  • David Elginbrod (1863; republished in edited form as The Tutor's First Love), originally published in three volumes
  • Adela Cathcart (1864); contains many fantasy stories told by the characters within the larger story, including "The Light Princess", "The Shadows".
  • Alec Forbes of Howglen (1865; edited by Michael Phillips and republished as The Maiden's Bequest; edited to children's version by Michael Phillips and republished as Alec Forbes and His Friend Annie)
  • Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood (1867)
  • Guild Court: A London Story (1868; republished in edited form as The Prodigal Apprentice). 1908 edition by Edwin Dalton, London was illustrated by G. H. Evison. Available online at Hathi Trust.[46]
  • Robert Falconer (1868; republished in edited form as The Musician's Quest)
  • The Seaboard Parish (1869), a sequel to Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood
  • Ranald Bannerman's Boyhood (republished in edited form as The Boyhood of Ranald Bannerman) (1871)
  • MacDonald, George (1872). Wilfred Cumbermede. London: Strahan and Co.
  • The Vicar's Daughter (1871), a sequel to Annals of a Quiet Neighborhood and The Seaboard Parish. 1908 edition by Sampson Low and Company, London was illustrated by Cyrus Cuneo and G. H. Evison.
  • The History of Gutta Percha Willie, the Working Genius (1873; republished in edited form as The Genius of Willie MacMichael), usually called simply Gutta Percha Willie
  • Malcolm (1875)
  • St. George and St. Michael (1876; edited by Dan Hamilton and republished as The Last Castle)
  • Thomas Wingfold, Curate (1876; republished in edited form as The Curate's Awakening)
  • The Marquis of Lossie (1877; republished in edited form as The Marquis' Secret), the second book of Malcolm
  • Sir Gibbie (1879): Sir Gibbie, Volume 1. London: Hurst and Blackett. 1879. With simultaneous publication of Vol. 2 and Vol. 3, each of ca. 300 pages. Also issued by Lippincott in America in a single volume set in two columns in smaller font, in 210 pages, Sir Gibbie: A Novel. Philadelphia, PA: J. B. Lippincott. 1879. The entirety of the original text is available with a Broad Scots glossary by its digitizer, John Bechard, see Sir Gibbie. 1879 – via Gutenberg.org. Republished in edited form as MacDonald, George (1990). Phillips, Michael R. (ed.). Wee Sir Gibbie of the Highlands. George MacDonald Classics. Bethany House. ISBN 978-1556611391. Also as The Baronet's Song.[clarification needed][citation needed]
  • Paul Faber, Surgeon (1879; republished in edited form as The Lady's Confession), a sequel to Thomas Wingfold, Curate
  • Mary Marston (1881; republished in edited form as A Daughter's Devotion and The Shopkeeper's Daughter)
  • Warlock o' Glenwarlock (1881; republished in edited form as Castle Warlock and The Laird's Inheritance)
  • Weighed and Wanting (1882; republished in edited form as A Gentlewoman's Choice)
  • Donal Grant (1883; republished in edited form as The Shepherd's Castle), a sequel to Sir Gibbie
  • What's Mine's Mine (1886; republished in edited form as The Highlander's Last Song)
  • Home Again: A Tale (1887; republished in edited form as The Poet's Homecoming)
  • The Elect Lady (1888; republished in edited form as The Landlady's Master)
  • A Rough Shaking (1891; republished in edited form as The Wanderings of Clare Skymer)
  • There and Back (1891; republished in edited form as The Baron's Apprenticeship), a sequel to Thomas Wingfold, Curate and Paul Faber, Surgeon
  • The Flight of the Shadow (1891)
  • Heather and Snow (1893)
  • MacDonald, George (1893). Heather and Snow. Vol. I. Piccadilly, London: Chatto and Windus.
  • MacDonald, George (1893). Heather and Snow. Vol. II. Piccadilly, London: Chatto and Windus.
  • Salted with fire
  • MacDonald, George (1900) [1897]. Salted with fire (New ed.). London: Hurst and Blackett Limited.
  • Far Above Rubies (1898)



The following is a list of MacDonald's published poetic works:[according to whom?]



The following is a list of MacDonald's published works of non-fiction:[according to whom?]

  • Unspoken Sermons (1867)
  • England's Antiphon (1868, 1874)
  • The Miracles of Our Lord (1870)
  • Cheerful Words from the Writing of George MacDonald (1880), compiled by E. E. Brown
  • Orts: Chiefly Papers on the Imagination, and on Shakespeare (1882)
  • "Preface" (1884) to Letters from Hell (1866) by Valdemar Adolph Thisted
  • The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke: A Study With the Text of the Folio of 1623 (1885)
  • Unspoken Sermons, Second Series (1885)
  • Unspoken Sermons, Third Series (1889)
  • A Cabinet of Gems, Cut and Polished by Sir Philip Sidney; Now, for the More Radiance, Presented Without Their Setting by George MacDonald (1891)
  • The Hope of the Gospel (1892)
  • A Dish of Orts (1893)
  • Beautiful Thoughts from George MacDonald (1894), compiled by Elizabeth Dougall

See also





  1. ^ Raeper 1987, pp. 15–17.
  2. ^ For more information on this massacre, see Anon. "The Massacre of Glen Coe". Scottish History: The making of the Union. BBC. Retrieved 6 November 2012. For more information on the site of the event, see "Site Record for Glencoe, National Trust For Scotland Glencoe Visitor Centre". Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland.
  3. ^ a b c Johnson, K. J. (2014). "Rooted Deep: Discovering the Literary Identity of Mythopoeic Fantacist George MacDonald" (PDF). Linguaculture. 2. University of Iasi Press: 27f.
  4. ^ The Life and Times of George MacDonald. Golgotha Press. 2011. ISBN 9781621070252.
  5. ^ Hutton, Muriel (1976). "The George MacDonald Collection". The Yale University Library Gazette. 51 (2): 74–85. JSTOR 40858616.
  6. ^ "George MacDonald | Penguin Random House". www.penguinrandomhouse.com. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  7. ^ "Archives and Manuscripts – Special Collections – University of Aberdeen". calms.abdn.ac.uk. Archived from the original on 16 November 2018. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  8. ^ a b Johnson, Rachel (2014). A Complete Identity: The Youthful Hero in the Work of G. A. Henty and George MacDonald. Cambridge, UK: The Lutterworth Press. p. 43. ISBN 9780718893590.
  9. ^ Sparks, Tabitha (2009). The Doctor in the Victorian Novel: Family Practices. Surrey: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 50. ISBN 9780754668022.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g  This article incorporates text from a free content work. Licensed under CC-BY-SA 3.0 ([[[Wikipedia:CC-BY-SA]] license statement/permission]). Text taken from Biography of MacDonald​, PoemHunter.com.
  11. ^ a b "George MacDonald". Wheaton College. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  12. ^ a b c "BBC Two – Writing Scotland – George MacDonald". BBC.
  13. ^ a b Hein, Rolland (2014). George MacDonald: Victorian Mythmaker. Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers. pp. 88, 123. ISBN 9781625645074.
  14. ^ MacDonald, George (1893). A Dish of Orts: Chiefly Papers on the Imagination, and on Shakespeare. Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 6 October 2016.
  15. ^ Seper, Charles. "USA Lecture Tour". The George MacDonald Informational Web. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  16. ^ a b c Reis, Richard H. (1972). George MacDonald, pp. 25–34. Twayne Publishers, Inc.
  17. ^ Seper, Charles. "Lewis Carroll's association with George MacDonald". The George MacDonald Informational Web. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  18. ^ Rolland Hein; Frederick Buechner (10 November 2014). George MacDonald: Victorian Mythmaker. Eugene: Wipf and Stock Publishers. p. XVII. ISBN 978-1625645074. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  19. ^ Lindskoog, Kathryn Ann (2001). Surprised by C. S. Lewis, George MacDonald & Dante: An Array of Original Discoveries. Mercer University Press. p. 72. ISBN 9780865547285. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  20. ^ C. S. Lewis, ed. (1947). George MacDonald: An Anthology.
  21. ^ Sutherland, D. "The Founder of the New Scottish School." In The Critic, Volumes 30–31, 15 May 1897, p. 339. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  22. ^ Macdonald 1924, p. 9.
  23. ^ a b Macdonald 1924, Intro.
  24. ^ "George MacDonald: Scottish novelist, clergyman and author". Christian Classics Ethereal Library. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  25. ^ "George McDonald". Archived from the original on 13 September 2012. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  26. ^ Valerie Lester, Marvels: the life of Clarence Bicknell, botanist, archaeologist, artist, Matador, 2018, pp. 57–62.
  27. ^ "George MacDonald Life Outline". Archived from the original on 10 September 2012. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  28. ^ Skribita de Susie Bicknell. "In Clarence's Time – George MacDonald in Bordighera". clarencebicknell.com. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  29. ^ "107 anni fa oggi moriva a Bordighera Edmondo De Amicis" [Edmondo De Amicis died today in Bordighera 107 years ago]. Bordighera.net (in Italian). 11 March 2011. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  30. ^ "Bordighera, A Record of a Visit (1997)". Archived from the original on 12 September 2012. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  31. ^ a b c Rolland Hein; Frederick Buechner (10 November 2014). George MacDonald: Victorian Mythmaker. Eugene: Wipf and Stock Publishers. pp. 398–399. ISBN 978-1625645074. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  32. ^ MacDonald, Greville. "Greville MacDonald: An Inventory of His Papers at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center". legacy.lib.utexas.edu.
  33. ^ "Who's who: An Annual Biographical Dictionary". A. & C. Black. 1 July 1907 – via Google Books.
  34. ^ Mavis, Paul (8 June 2015). The Espionage Filmography: United States Releases, 1898 through 1999. McFarland. ISBN 9781476604275 – via Google Books.
  35. ^ Golgotha Press (2013). Profiles of English Writers: Volume Three of Three. Hustonville, KY: Golgotha Press. ISBN 9781621076070.
  36. ^ "George MacDonald". English Heritage. Retrieved 19 January 2024.
  37. ^ "George MacDonald's Theology". The George MacDonald WWW Page. Archived from the original on 13 January 2022. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  38. ^ "An Orthodox Appreciation of George MacDonald". Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity.
  39. ^ "Unspoken Sermons by George MacDonald: Justice".
  40. ^ Phillips, Michael R. (1987). George MacDonald: Scotland's Beloved Storyteller. Minneapolis: Bethany House. p. 209. ISBN 978-0871239440. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  41. ^ Yamaguchi, Miho (2007). George MacDonald's Challenging Theology of the Atonement, Suffering, and Death. Wheatmark. p. 27. ISBN 9781587367984. Retrieved 15 March 2017.
  42. ^ Johnson, Joseph (1906). George MacDonald: A Biographical and Critical Appreciation. Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons, Ltd. p. 155. Retrieved 15 March 2017.
  43. ^ Phillips, Michael R. (1987). George MacDonald: Scotland's Beloved Storyteller. Minneapolis: Bethany House. p. 202. ISBN 978-0871239440. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
  44. ^ "Sermon "Justice", at Unspoken Sermons Third Series". Christian Classics Ethereal Library. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  45. ^ Macdonald, George (1908). Stephen Archer and other tales. London: Edwin Dalton. hdl:2027/uc2.ark:/13960/t10p10p66. Retrieved 9 August 2020 – via The Hathi Trust (access may be limited outside the United States).
  46. ^ Macdonald, George (1908). Guild Court, A London Story. London: Edwin Dalton. hdl:2027/uc1.31210010290201. Retrieved 9 August 2020 – via The Hathi Trust (access may be limited outside the United States).



Further reading

  • Ankeny, Rebecca Thomas (2000). The story, the teller, and the audience in George MacDonald's fiction. Studies in British literature. Vol. 44. Lewiston, N.Y: Edwin Mellen Press. ISBN 9780773477285.
  • Gerold, Thomas (2006). "Die Gotteskindschaft des Menschen Die theologische Anthropologie bei George MacDonald". Studien zur systematischen Theologie und Ethik (in German). 47. Münster: Lit Verlag.
  • North Wind: A Journal of George MacDonald Studies. St. Norbert College. Wisconsin. ISSN 0265-7295
  • Gray, W. (1998). "The Angel in the House of Death: Gender and Identity in George MacDonald's Lilith". In Hogan, A.; Bradstock, A. (eds.). Women of Faith in Victorian Culture. London: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-1-349-26751-4.
  • Gray, William N. (1996). "George MacDonald, Julia Kristeva, and the Black Sun". Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900. 36 (4): 877–893. doi:10.2307/450980. ISSN 0039-3657. JSTOR 450980.
  • Hein, Rolland (1993). George MacDonald : Victorian mythmaker. Nashville: Star Song Publishing Group. ISBN 9781562330460. OCLC 28027567.
  • Lewis, C. S. (2011). Surprised by joy: the shape of my early life ; The four loves. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 9780547599397. OCLC 694830039.
  • Manlove, Colin (2016). Scotland's Forgotten Treasure: the Visionary Romances of George MacDonald. Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press. ISBN 978-1-85752-056-9. OCLC 1048766002.
  • McGillis, Roderick (1992). For the childlike: George MacDonald's fantasies for children. West Lafayette, Indiana : Metuchen, N.J: Children's Literature Association ; Scarecrow Press. ISBN 9780810824591. OCLC 25630114.
  • MacDonald, George; Neuhouser, David L. (1990). George MacDonald : selections from his greatest works. New York: Victor Books. OCLC 1280796867.
  • Pridmore, John Stuart (2000). "Doctorate". Transfiguring fantasy : spiritual development in the work of George MacDonald (PDF) (Thesis). Institute of Education, University of London. Retrieved 8 March 2024.
  • Rankin, Jamie (1989). "The Genesis of George MacDonald's Scottish Novels: Edelweiss Amid the Heather?". Studies in Scottish Literature. 24 (1).
  • Robb, David S. (1987). George MacDonald. Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press. ISBN 9780707305233. OCLC 895121431.
  • Wolff, Robert Lee (1961). The golden key : a study of the fiction of George MacDonald. New Haven: Yale University Press. OCLC 361159.
  • Reis, R. H. (September 1961). "The Golden Key: A Study of the Fiction of George MacDonald Robert Lee Wolff (review)". Nineteenth-Century Fiction. 16 (2): 182–185. doi:10.2307/2932484. JSTOR 2932484.
  • Worthing, Mark William; MacDonald, George (2016). Phantastes : George MacDonald's classic fantasy novel. Northcote, Victoria: Stone Table Books. ISBN 9780995416130. OCLC 976431182.
  • Worthing, Mark William (2016). Narnia, Middle-earth and the Kingdom of God : a history of fantasy literature and the christian tradition Narnia, Middle-earth and the Kingdom of God : a history of fantasy literature and the christian tradition. Northcote, Victoria: Stone Table Books. ISBN 9780995416116. OCLC 1048126271.

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