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George Macdonald

Macdonald, George (1824–1905). Poet and novelist, son of a farmer, was born at Huntly, Aberdeenshire, and ed. at the University of Aberdeen, and at the Independent College, Highbury. He became minister of a congregation at Arundel, but after a few years retired, on account partly of theological considerations, partly of a threatened, breakdown of health. He then took to literature, and published his first book, Within and Without (1856), a dramatic poem, Poems followed in 1857, and Phantasies, a Faerie Romance, in 1858. He then turned to fiction, and produced numerous novels, of which David Elginbrod (1862), Alec Forbes (1865), Robert Falconer (1868), The Marquis of Lossie (1877), and Sir Gibbie (1879), are perhaps the best. He also wrote stories for children of great charm and originality, including The Princess and the Goblin, At the Back of the North Wind, and Ranald Bannerman’s Boyhood. As a novelist he had considerable narrative and dramatic power, humour, tenderness, a genial view of life and character, tinged with mysticism, and within his limits was a true poet. On retiring from the ministry he attached himself to the Church of England, but frequently preached as a layman, never accepting any remuneration for his sermons.

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