The son of a farmer, MacDonald's childhood was strongly influenced by religion. He studied at the University of Aberdeen before going onto further studies at Highbury College in London.
MacDonald became pastor of Trinity Congregational Church in 1850 and later taught at the University of London. He also carried out a series of successful lectures in America between 1872 and 1873.
MacDonald himself has been cited as a key influence on acclaimed authors such as CS Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia) and JRR Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings).
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. CS Lewis
Below you will find information about his published work that included novels, children’s books and poetry along with a description.
David Elginbrod was the first full-length Scottish novel by George MacDonald to be published in 1863. It is a novel depicting Scottish country life, in the dialect of Aberdeen. The story centres around two saintly personalities, a dignified and pious Scottish peasant, and his daughter. A vein of mysticism runs through the story, and mesmerism and electro-biology are introduced
Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood was first published by Hurst and Blackett in 1867.
It was written in the first person by MacDonald, detailing the annals of a vicar in the town of Marshmallows, recounting his experiences mingled with mystery and romance. MacDonald later produced two sequels to Annals, The Seaboard Parish (1868) and The Vicar's Daughter (1872).
The manuscript here comprises the majority of the novel, beginning in the middle of chapter five, "Visitors from the Hall" to the end. There are several complete pages, two half-pages and a fragment missing from chapter 11 "Sermon on God and Mammon".
Thomas Wingfold, Curate was first published in 1876 by Hurst and Blackett. The digitised manuscript contains Chapter 93 "An Honest Spy" through to the end of the book.
Sir Gibbie was first published by Hurst and Blackett in 1879.
The manuscript is a reproduction of a page of the original manuscript which was published as a supplement by the Huntly Express on 18 January, 1935. The extract itself is taken from Chapter 26 "The Gamekeeper".
Please note that the Sir Gibbie e-book is at the end of the Thomas Wingfold, Curate e-book as the Sir Gibbie extract is only one page long and e-books require a minimum of two pages.
Heather and Snow was first published by Chatto and Windus in 1893.
The digitised manuscript comprises the second half of chapter 24 "In the Workshop" (chapter 32 in the published version) and the following chapter "A Race with Death" and the first part of "The Sepulchre and a Place for Rising" (the chapter entitled "Back from the Grave" in the published version).
At the Back of the North Wind was published in 1871. The story centres around a boy named Diamond and his adventures with the North Wind. Diamond travels together with the mysterious Lady North Wind through the nights.
North Wind is helping people, yet she is also doing terrible things. She sinks a ship. Yet everything leads to something good. North Wind seems to be Pain and Death working according to God's will for something good. North Wind brings Diamond for some days in the country at her back, a country without pain and death. Yet he was brought only in a shadow of the real country at the back of the North Wind. The real country is open for him only after his death. Diamond is a very sweet little boy who makes joy everywhere he goes.
Ranald Bannerman's Boyhood is a realistic, largely autobiographical novel by George Macdonald, first published in 1871.
The story of the book revolves around a young motherless boy growing up with his brothers in a Scottish manse. The list of characters includes: Mrs Mitchel, the wicked, sneaking, housekeeper, Kirsty, an enchanting Highland storyteller, Turkey, the intrepid cowherd, the strange Wandering Willie, the evil Kelpie, the sweet horse Missie, and Elsie Duff.
The Princess and the Goblin was published in 1872 by Strahan and Co.
Princess Irene lives in a castle in a wild and lonely mountainous region. One day she discovers a steep and winding stairway leading to a bewildering labyrinth of unused passages with closed doors - and a further stairway. What lies at the top?
Listen to Jacqueline, Live Life Aberdeenshire librarian, read the poem 'Little Boy Blue' which is taken from MacDonald’s novel 'At the Back of the North Wind' which was published in 1871. This book is about a boy named Diamond and his adventures with the North Wind.