George MacDonald

George MacDonald was a prolific and talented author whose life spanned across the 19th and early 20th centuries. He was well-loved by many of his literary contemporaries and would serve as an inspiration to C.S. Lewis (Chronicles of Narnia), Madeleine L’Engle (A Wrinkle in Time), J.R.R. Tolkien (Lord of the Rings), G.K. Chesterton (Father Brown), and Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest).(1)

Despite his popularity in the past and his importance to popular authors his works are sadly little known. MacDonald’s works have become obscure for several reason. One is the use of archaic language, another is the arcane references to poetic and literary works with which contemporary audiences are unfamiliar. It is my hope that these contemporary editions will bring a wider readership to MacDonald as he has much to say for our current times.

My endeavor has been to modernize his writings while making as few adjustments as possible. I’ve sought to bring the archaic and arcane language and grammar into contemporary form and to provide explanatory annotations (footnotes) explaining some of the more arcane references within his work.

I have completed a number of these books and am making these available on Amazon. I have not included any DRM on the ebooks.

The Contemporary Editions

(1) Fans of John Eldredge (Wild at Heart) will find a liberal sprinkling of MacDonald’s quotes in Eldredge’s books.

The Fans and Critics

  • “I know hardly any other writer who seems to be closer, or more continually close, to the Spirit of Christ Himself!” – C.S. Lewis.
    • “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 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.”
  • “…a grievous experience I had when some of George MacDonald’s sermons were published in 1976 (Creation in Christ). I had relished three of MacDonald’s novels and the Anthology compiled by C.S. Lewis. Then I read this sentence, and the budding friendship collapsed: ‘From all copies of Jonathan Edwards portrait of God, however faded by time, however softened by the use of less glaring pigments, I turn with loathing’ (Creation in Christ, P. 81). I was-stunned. George MacDonald loathed my God!” – John Piper.
  • “…it is a striking indication of the trend and shallowness of the modern reading public that George MacDonald’s books have been so neglected.” – Oswald Chambers, Christian Discipline Vol. 1 (1934).
  • “…in a certain rather special sense I for one can really testify to a book that has made a difference to my whole existence, which helped me to see things in a certain way from the start; a vision of things which even so real a revolution as a change of religious allegiance has substantially only crowned and confirmed. Of all the stories I have read…it remains the most real, the most realistic, in the exact sense of the phrase the most like life. It is called The Princess and the Goblin, and is by George MacDonald…” – G.K. Chesterton.
  • Other Fans: W.H. Auden, Madeleine L’Engle, John Eldredge, J.R.R. Tolkien.


In addition to those who were fans or critics, there are many who have been influenced by him…whether they were fans per say, I cannot say.


  • John Bunyan (The Pilgrim’s Progress, Grace Abounding).
  • Dante Alighieri (The Divine Comedy).
  • F.D. Maurice.
  • Jacob Boehem.


  • Lewis Carroll.
  • Charles Kingsley.
  • Matthew Arnold.
  • Henry Crabb Robinson.
  • John Ruskin.

Further Resources

Mari Ness. “Opening Doors to Fairyland: George MacDonald’s Phantastes.” Mar. 31, 2011.