As a poet and novelist in nineteenth-century Scotland, George MacDonald became an internationally acclaimed author and lecturer whose work has inspired such prominent writers and artists as C. S. Lewis and Maurice Sendak. This extensive collection of MacDonald's personal correspondence offers privileged insights into the inner thoughts and visionary ideas of one of Scotland's greatest storytellers.
An Expression of Character draws from more than 3,000 of MacDonald's letters to friends and family members, many not previously published. Highly regarded as a MacDonald scholar, Glenn Edward Sadler has arranged the most significant of MacDonald's letters chronologically, dividing his life into significant stages: his boyhood in Huntly and student days at Aberdeen University; his marriage and fatherhood; his career as a novelist; his lecture tour in America in 1872; and his later days in Bordighera, Italy. Sadler skillfully introduces each section, summarizing the significant milestones in MacDonald's life. Sixteen pages of photographs, including many of the MacDonald family, also help capture this intriguing literary figure.
Fascinating, at times lyrical, and often moving, these letters provide a window into MacDonald's personal and spiritual life. Most of his letters are earthy and practical, showing his concern for the events of everyday life, his warm attachment to friends, and the importance of his role as husband and father. Other letters reveal MacDonald's spiritual approach to life and the develop ment of his religious views. Especially significant was his firm belief in what C. S. Lewis defined as "good Death" and in the glorious life hereafter.
Readers of MacDonald will find in these letters penetrating glimpses of a deeply religious and sensitive man. To the specialist and general reader alike the letters speak with heartfelt sincerity and warmth. Those familiar with MacDonald's fiction and poetry will find the best portrait yet of the man himself.
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Glenn Edward Sadler is professor of English at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania.Review:
A thorough compilation of letters that sheds new light on the Scottish writer and minister (1824-1905), a seminal figure in modern fantastic literature.
Since his rediscovery in 1947 by C.S. Lewis, MacDonald's romances (especially Lilith and Phantastes) and fairy tales have been ranked as classics of world literature. But despite a slew of biographies, the Scot's inner life has remained somewhat veiled, a problem that this outstanding collection helps to redress. The letters--directed for the most part to MacDonald's wife and children--disclose little about his literary tastes (although he does confess an aversion for Thackeray) and nothing about his writing methods. But they are aglow with what editor Sadler (English/Bloomsburg University) calls MacDonald's'`incurable optimism,'' a product of his deeply held Christian faith (the same theological outlook that made his books the prototypes for C.S. Lewis's Narnia septet). At age 21, MacDonald writes that ``God is now with me....I try to trace him in little things.'' Later, he tells his mother that ``I wish to be delivered from myself. I wish to be made holy.'' Letters to Lewis Carroll, John Ruskin, Thomas Carlyle, and other notables underscore this spiritual drive, which is evident especially in the face of tragedy: Of his brother's death, MacDonald writes that ``what he was he is now--only expanded, enlarged, and glorified.'' He chats about travels to Boston and Algiers; lectures, homilies, poetry, and novels; the griefs of old age (``I have never known such a time. Friend after friend going'')--each letter adding to the overall impression that, in MacDonald, English literature came as close as it ever has to producing a genuine saint. Yet another treasure, noble and uplifting, from Britain's Victorian trove. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. -- Kirkus Reviews
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Descripción Eerdmans Pub Co, 1994. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. de la librería P11080283762X
Descripción William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.A., 1994. Estado de conservación: New. First edition. A Fine, brand new condition hardcover in a Fine flawless dustjacket. Nº de ref. de la librería 8298