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His father, a farmer, was one of the MacDonalds of Glen Coe and a direct descendant of one of the families that suffered in the massacre of MacDonald grew up in an unusually literate environment: one of his maternal uncles was a notable Celtic scholar, editor of the Gaelic Highland Dictionary and collector of fairy tales and Celtic poetry. His paternal grandfather had supported the publication of an Ossian edition, the controversial Celtic text believed by some to have 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 Newton, Burns, Cowper, Chalmers, Coleridge, and Darwin, to quote a few, while his mother had received a classical education which included multiple languages. 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.

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 Gallic-speaking radical who became moderator of the disrupting Free Church, while his step-mother, to whom he was also very close, was the daughter of a Scottish Episcopalian priest.

MacDonald graduated from the University of Aberdeen in with a master's degree in chemistry and physics.

Author Spotlight: George MacDonald

MacDonald was appointed minister of Trinity Congregational Church , Arundel , in , [5] [16] after briefly serving as a locum minister in Ireland. George MacDonald is often regarded as the founding father of modern fantasy writing. After his literary success, MacDonald went on to do a lecture tour in the United States in —, after being invited to do so by a lecture company, the Boston Lyceum Bureau.

He performed this lecture to great acclaim, speaking in Boston to crowds in the neighborhood of three thousand people. MacDonald served as a mentor to Lewis Carroll the pen-name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson ; [ citation needed ] 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. MacDonald's use of fantasy as a literary medium for exploring the human condition greatly influenced a generation of notable authors, including C.

Lewis , who featured him as a character in his The Great Divorce. 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. Others he influenced include J. Tolkien and Madeleine L'Engle. Chesterton cited The Princess and the Goblin as a book that had "made a difference to my whole existence", [3] in showing "how near both the best and the worst things are to us from the first In he was given a civil list pension. In that locality there also was an Anglican church, All Saints, which he attended. In 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.

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. Tuberculosis caused the death of several family members, including Lilia, Mary Josephine, Grace, Maurice as well as one granddaughter and a daughter-in-law. 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.

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.

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MacDonald appears to have never felt comfortable with some aspects of Calvinist doctrine, feeling that its principles were inherently "unfair"; [21] when the doctrine of predestination was first explained to him, he burst into tears although assured that he was one of the elect. Chesterton noted that only a man who had "escaped" Calvinism could say that God is easy to please and hard to satisfy. 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.

Verily, he made atonement! 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. MacDonald declared, "I believe that no hell will be lacking which would help the just mercy of God to redeem his children. 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. 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.

MacDonald states his theological views most distinctly in the sermon "Justice", found in the third volume of Unspoken Sermons. The following is a list of MacDonald's published works in the genre now referred to as fantasy: [ according to whom? 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? From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Louisa Powell m. This section needs expansion with: with a sourced, scholarly summary of MacDonald's major genres and works, providing summaries of the published perspectives of others, regarding them. You can help by adding to it. March This section needs expansion with: with source-based information on the whole of his family, spouse and children, and other standard aspects of personal life.

This section possibly contains original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. The story ends in a final spectacular scene at the N. The first book written by C. Here is the story of the pilgrim John and his odyssey to an enchanting island which has created in him an intense longing; a mysterious, sweet desire. Enlightenment, Media Halfways, Mr. Mammon, Mother Kirk, Mr. Sensible, and Mr. Humanist and through such cities as Thrill and Eschropolis as well as the Valley of Humiliation.

God in the Dock is one of the best known of C. In Christian Reflections , C. Lewis brings his vast and original intellect to bear on a wealth of subjects, including ethics, historicism, Christianity, and culture. This selection of essays and papers, drawn from all stages of his career, presents Lewis at his most varied and profound. Selected Literary Essays includes over 20 of C. This entertaining and learned volume contains book reviews, lectures, and hard to find articles from the late C. Lewis, whose constant aim was to show the twentieth—century reader how to read and understand old books and manuscripts.

Highlighting works by Spenser, Dante , Malory , Tasso, and Milton , Lewis provides a refreshing update to medieval and Renaissance criticism, and equips modern readers to understand these works in a new way. Language—in its communicative and playful functions, its literary formations and its shifting meanings—is a perennially fascinating topic.

It doubles as an absorbing and entertaining study of verbal communication, its pleasures and problems. The issues revealed are essential to all who read and communicate thoughtfully, and are handled here by a masterful exponent and analyst of the English language.

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  7. In The Discarded Image , C. Lewis paints a lucid picture of the medieval world view, providing the historical and cultural background to the literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Why do we read literature and how do we judge it? Amid the complex welter of current critical theories, C.

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    Image and Imagination presents some of C. The life and mind of C. Lewis have fascinated those who have read his works. This collection of his personal letters reveals a unique intellectual journey. Here we encounter the creative, imaginative seeds that gave birth to some of his most famous works. The Collected Letters of C. Lewis, vol. Lewis was a prolific letter writer, and his personal correspondence reveals much of his private life, reflections, friendships, and the progress of his thought.

    This second of a three—volume collection contains the letters Lewis wrote after his conversion to Christianity, as he began a lifetime of serious writing. Tolkien and Dorothy Sayers. Here we encounter a surge of letters in response to a new audience of laypeople who wrote to him after the great success of his BBC radio broadcasts during World War II—talks that would ultimately become his masterwork, Mere Christianity. Volume II begins with C. Lewis writing his first major work of literary history, The Allegory of Love , which established him as a scholar with imaginative power.

    Tolkien reads aloud chapters of his unfinished The Lord of the Rings , while Lewis shares portions of his first novel, Out of the Silent Planet. With his new broadcasting career, Lewis was inundated with letters from all over the world. His faithful, thoughtful responses to numerous questions reveal the clarity and wisdom of his theological and intellectual beliefs. But what is apparent throughout this volume is how this quiet bachelor professor in England touched the lives of many through an amazing discipline of personal correspondence.

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    Included here are the letters Lewis wrote to such luminaries as J. Tolkien, Owen Barfield, Arthur C. To some particular friends, such as Dorothy L. Sayers, Lewis wrote as many as fifty letters. The third and final volume begins with Lewis, already a household name from his BBC radio broadcasts and popular spiritual books, on the cusp of publishing his most famous and enduring book, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe , which would ensure his immortality in the literary world.

    It covers his relationship with and marriage to Joy Davidman Gresham, subject of the film Shadowlands , and includes letters right up to his death on November 22, , the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated. On October 26, , C. Lewis wrote the first of more than a hundred letters he would send to a woman he had never met, but with whom he was to maintain a correspondence for the rest of his life.

    Ranging broadly in subject matter, the letters discuss topics as profound as the love of God and as frivolous as preferences in cats. Lewis himself clearly had no idea that these letters would ever see publication, but they reveal facets of his character little known even to devoted readers of his fantasy and scholarly writings—a man patiently offering encouragement and guidance to another Christian through the day—to—day joys and sorrows of ordinary life. Letters to an American Lady stands as a fascinating and moving testimony to the remarkable humanity and even more remarkable Christianity of C.

    Lewis, and is richly deserving of the position it now takes among the balance of his Christian writings. Lewis is a beloved writer and thinker and arguably the most important Christian intellectual of the twentieth century. Here Lewis breathes new life into words and concepts that have dulled through time and familiarity, and his writings inevitably provoke deep thought and surprising revelations.

    His works are presented in accessible selections covering subjects from A to Z, including beauty, character, confession, doubt, family, holiness, and religion. In the tradition of A Year with C. Lewis , get your daily dose of inspiration from this one—of—a—kind devotional collecting readings from the beloved Chronicles of Narnia. Lewis channeled his profound spiritual understanding into The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe , Prince Caspian , The Voyage of the Dawn Treader , and the other books in his seminal fantasy series.

    The classic A Year with C. Lewis is an intimate day—to—day companion by C. Lewis, the most important Christian writer of the twentieth century. Ruminating on such themes as the nature of love, the existence of miracles, overcoming a devastating loss, and discovering a profound Christian faith, A Year with C. Lewis offers unflinchingly honest insight for each day of the year. Lewis spent a good portion of each day corresponding with people via handwritten letters.

    The only other writer who's made me feel quite like this is Nicholas Stuart Gray. Really lovely stories. Even in the middle of "Light Princess", a more frivolous story, moments of incredible poetry and insight. And I've rarely heard of him except in reading about the influences of other authors I already love, esp. Tolkien and Lewis. Dec 30, Lucas rated it it was amazing.

    A very enjoyable collection of MacDonald's shorter works. Publishing them in chronological order allows you to see the progression of his work throughout his life. Be sure to read his essay at the beginning entitled The Fantastic Imagination. It is extremely helpful to understand his views and ideas about fantasy stories. It helps you to grasp some of the deeper meanings, while also giving you permission to just enjoy the stories for what they are.

    Any fan of fantasy especially C. Lewis and A very enjoyable collection of MacDonald's shorter works. Lewis and J. Tolkein who were big fans should be sure to give this a read. Aug 11, Hanson Rosenquist rated it really liked it. I was very interested in this author because he was C. Lewis' biggest influence and also a favorite of J. I started out by impulse buying everything I could find by him on Amazon and have only finished this collection thus far. I could easily see a lot of Lewis' style in these stories, but was not nearly as captivated as I was by the Space Trilogy or the, "others.

    Feb 27, Diane Marie rated it it was amazing. Aug 15, Sonatajessica rated it really liked it Shelves: shorties-of-fears-and-faerys , read-in Wonderful and mysterious work of fairy tales, full of fairies, princesses and witches, wickedness, journeys and triumphs. In the best moments, theses tales were honoring and mocking their big brothers Grimm at the same time.

    A lovely introduction The Fantastic Imagination rounds this collection to perfection. And what an awesome book cover my edition has an illustration b Wonderful and mysterious work of fairy tales, full of fairies, princesses and witches, wickedness, journeys and triumphs. And what an awesome book cover my edition has an illustration by Frank C. May 28, Erin rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: anyone who likes fairy tales or Princess stories.

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    I love George MacDonald's fairy tales. They are like a mirror to the individual and society. He reminds us of the beauty of kindness, self-sacrifice and doing one's duty. I can't wait to read them to my kids. I want to buy his collection of fantasy stories now, too! I especially love The Princess stories. They are not your typical Disney Princesses. They are in distress, to be sure, but the heroes are genuine and selfless.

    I can't stop thinking about them and have to stop myself from blurting ou I love George MacDonald's fairy tales. I can't stop thinking about them and have to stop myself from blurting out to everyone "Have you read George MacDonald? He is awesome! Feb 21, Shannon Cooley rated it it was amazing Shelves: fantasy , classics. What a great collection. Most of these stories are long enough that you could use one for a bedtime story several nights in a row, but if you're sitting down to read them yourself, they won't take too long. As always with MacDonald, I enjoyed the depth, even of his lighter stories such as "The Light Princess," which was a lot of fun.

    I really liked "Photogen and Nycteris"; I had read it somewhere before, probably in another fairy tale collection, but I didn't remember it very well. All of them What a great collection. All of them are good, though. View 1 comment. Jun 04, Ryan Greer rated it liked it. I'm not positive that I'm smart enough to understand children's stories, but MacDonald does a decent job of making it easier. His writing is a bit antiquated but his ideas, including the norms he rejects and some he completely buys into are really interesting placed in the context of fairy tales.

    If you're interested in exploring some of the nuances around imagination and wonder and seeing truth in different places I'd recommend checking out some of these stories. These were some very curious tales. The more I read of MacDonald the more he puzzles me. I saw some glimpses of "The Princess and the Goblin" in here, but he tends to lose me in the longer descriptive passages. I think I'd come back to these again in a few years, to see if I feel differently. A collection of thoroughly enjoyable tales! Being all by one author, the themes and language can get a bit repetitive if you read the book straight through, instead of enjoying each tale all on its lonesome.

    I quite liked reading about all the naughty fairies and good children, knowing everything would come out all right in the end. May 07, Bridgett rated it really liked it Shelves: fairy-tales-mythology , sci-fi-fantasy.

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    I liked his fairy tales. Previously I'd only been familiar with "The Princess and the Goblins. The worlds described were beautiful and fantastical. Aug 19, Lynette rated it it was amazing Shelves: It was fantastic to read the works that inspired Tolkien and Lewis. I look forward to when my nieces and nephews are old enough to read these. The language is very advanced - this is definitely more Brothers Grimm than Mother Goose although, not as bloody as Grimm.

    Aug 23, Paul Frank Spencer rated it it was amazing. If you aren't familiar with Christian theology, MacDonald might trick you into thinking you are reading a nice little fairy tale. Which you are. But you are reading a nice little fairy tale that is laden with beautiful religious allegory. A masterful storyteller. Mar 22, Mikel rated it it was amazing Shelves: fantasy , classics , fairytales. As one of the earliest writers in the fantasy genre and a sited influence of JRR Tolkien's I had to read some of his work.

    Full of songs and poems interweaved through out the tales this book is the heart and soul of traditional English fairytales. It was a great read to start the summer off.

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    Jan 05, Sharon rated it really liked it Shelves: classics. Some of these short stories have deep messages about life and death, and some are simply charming and entertaining. But all of them are beautifully written, and some of the images described will definitely stay with me. I especially like "The Golden Key. May 16, Rebekah rated it it was amazing Shelves: fiction , own , fairy-tale-type-things , fantasy , young-adult , non-american-book. This is an excellent collection of fairy tales, I enjoyed MacDonalds writing a lot. You can really see how much of an influence his style had on CS Lewis.

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    About George MacDonald. George MacDonald. George MacDonald was a Scottish author, poet, and Christian minister. He was educated at Aberdeen University and after a short and stormy career as a minister at Arundel, where his unorthodox views led to his dismissal, he turned to fiction as a means of earning a living. He wrote over 50 books. Known particularly for his poignant fairy tales and fantasy novels, MacDonald inspired many authors, such George MacDonald was a Scottish author, poet, and Christian minister.

    Known particularly for his poignant fairy tales and fantasy novels, MacDonald inspired many authors, such as G. Chesterton , W. Auden , J. Tolkien , C.