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George MacDonald (1824-1905)

 

George MacDonald was born in Huntly, Scotland in 1824. Known primarily for two of his novels, Phantastes (1858) and Lilith (1895), his fairy tales have remained popular since his death with new editions published as recently as 1989.

Nick Harrison, writing in Publisher's Weekly notes that Macdonald was admired by Charles Dickens, Lewis Carroll, Thackeray, Emerson and Mark Twain among others. Of MacDonald's writing, C. S. Lewis once wrote, "...I fancy I have never written a book in which I did not quote from him."

The de Grummond Collection owns 90 editions of MacDonald's works, more than half of which were donated by George MacDonald scholar, Hal Broome, including this rare 1899 edition of At the Back of the North Wind illustrated by Arthur Hughes.

1899 edition donated to the Collection by Hal Broome

"Although many artists have illustrated MacDonald's works," writes Raphael Shaberman, "Arthur Hughes comes nearest to being his ideal illustrator, standing in relation to MacDonald as Tenniel did to Lewis Carroll's 'Alice' books."

Other collaborations between Hughes and MacDonald include Gutta Percha Willie, Ranald Bannerman's Boyhood, The Princess and the Goblin and various items in Good Words for the Young, a children's magazine in which many of his children's books were first published as serials. MacDonald was also its editor from 1869-73.

Other well-known illustrators of MacDonald's works include E. H. Shepard, famous for his illustrations of Winnie the Pooh, Dorothy Lathrop, Nora S. Unwin and Jessie Willcox Smith. Her cover for the 1920 David McKay edition of The Princess and the Goblin (1920) is shown below next to the bibliography.

 

Arthur Hughes' illustration from
At the Back of the North Wind

Bibliography

"Bringing Back George MacDonald," by Nick Harrison, Publisher's Weekly, September 1985, pp. 50-51.

"George MacDonald and His Books," by Raphael Shaberman, Antiquarian Book Monthly Review, December 1990, pp.538-541.

 

 

Contact:
The de Grummond Children's Literature Collection
Box 5148
Hattiesburg, MS 39406
(601) 266-4349
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