Happy Birthday, George!

You may not know the writings of George MacDonald, but you know the works he inspired. Without him, there would likely be no Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, or A Wrinkle in Time. Considered the father of modern fantasy, MacDonald personally mentored fellow minister Rev. Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll), encouraging him to complete and publish his wonderfully eccentric doodlings as Alice in Wonderland. 

When C.S. Lewis, who considered MacDonald his “master,” first began reading MacDonald’s Phantastes, he says, “I knew I had crossed a great frontier.” G.K. Chesterton described MacDonald’s The Princess and the Goblin as having “made a difference in my whole existence.” John Ruskin, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Walt Whitman, W.H. Auden, Mark Twain, Oswald Chambers, J.R.R. Tolkien and many others cited him as an influence on both their writings and their personal lives.

The compassionate Scottish author, poet, and minister was born on December 10, 1824 and died early in the 20th century. He left behind a rich and varied collection of novels, poems, sermons, and apologetics, all dedicated to the glory of God.

A few of my favorite MacDonald quotes:

“Man finds it hard to get what he wants, because he does not want the best; God finds it hard to give, because He would give the best, and man will not take it.”

“Philosophy is really homesickness.”

“Doing the will of God leaves me no time for disputing about His plans.”

“You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage, but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it himself.”

“I would rather be what God chose to make me than the most glorious creature that I could think of; for to have been thought about, born in God’s thought, and then made by God, is the dearest, grandest and most precious thing in all thinking.”

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Books, For Pastors and Teachers, Quips and Quotes, Religion/Faith and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Happy Birthday, George!

  1. Fab Writings says:

    All the time when I considered J R R Tolkein my inspiration and Idol, I was unaware of the fact that even he had a mentor. Thank you very much for this post!
    And yay, Happy Birthday, MacDonald Sir!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Happy birthday, George, indeed!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. alexankarr1 says:

    I loved his children’s books, as a child: coming to them again as an adult, I was rather underwhelmed. But I have yet to try his adult writings, and might be inspired to do that now.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I remember getting The Christmas Stories of George MacDonald one year for Christmas. I still own it and read a story or two around holiday time! But of all his books, I love The Princess and the Goblin the best 🙂 What an amazing story he created…

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I adore George MacDonald’s writing! My favorite is “At the Back of the North Wind.” It’s incredible. I suspect you have read it as well since obviously you are also a fan of MacDonald. Actually, I wrote a devotional several years ago in which I quote “At the Back of the North Wind…” I may have to pull that writing out and dust it off… and post it sometime in the next month or two now that you’ve reminded me of it. 😉 Thanks for an informative and inspiring post, Mitch… as always, I might add. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. notdonner says:

    Thank you for this. I just read MacDonald’s sermon on faith; there’s a UK society dedicated to his writings! I need to study it and share it with my small group. Reading what he preached in 1882, it seems so applicable today to all the same issues with Faith/ science, doctrine, and understanding His Word. I will share this with my friends!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. smzang says:

    I will be doing some reading. I did not know of George MacDonald.
    Reading The Wishing Map was my intro to fantasy classics. I followed
    that with Narnia. It is exciting to delve into this genre. Thank you!
    (I guess it’s about time I read Lord of the Rings too.)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. BelleUnruh says:

    I’m pretty sure I have read some of his sermons on Gutenberg Press online. All books and sermons are free there. I love the quotations. I can relate to being satisfied at being a little cottage, whereas God didn’t stop there, even though I protested. Lol

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Jennie says:

    I did not know that he wrote The Princess and the Goblin, or that he influenced so many writers. Thank you, Mitch!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you for this! I will read his works as he inspired my favorite writers. I was blessed to attend conferences with Madeleine L’Engle twice! She was so amazing and an excellent theologian. Her books of theology are excellent. My favorite is “And it was good” Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  11. ellie894 says:

    I hadn’t thought of George in a while! Thank you for the grand reminder 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Paula says:

    I always enjoy hearing from someone who appreciates the same (great) authors I do. My first ‘George’ was “Phantastes.” I have a couple of lines from it written inside the cover of one of my Bibles. It’s Anados singing to his brothers before he goes off to fight giants. I also read “The Light Princess” and have “Lilith” on my eReader ready for this year’s TBR along with a re-reading of LOTR and the Narnia series. G.K. Chesterton holds down several places in my eReader as well. Man, some of the dead authors still shine, don’t they? I’ve read Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass no less than three times. As a matter of fact, I missed a cue to go on stage once because I was in a dressing room reading it. Ha!
    Thanks for the post.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Bill says:

    Indeed, MacDonald is well worth bringing to people’s consciousness again, for the positive influence he had on his and the next generation. This ability to communicate the faith needs to be urgently rediscovered.
    And thanks for popping by https://billlovett.wordpress.com/2017/12/10/f-2

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m working my way through Lilith and enjoying it.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. It’s amazing how many forgotten authors there are out there who have written great works of art, only to be forgotten. I do think more people though are becoming aware of McDonald, but I could be wrong. Nonetheless, I am someone who loves obscure and forgotten books from obscure and forgotten authors. I read one of McDonald’s books once. It was absolutely enchanting, like entering another world in a dreamlike state.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. AliciaS says:

    I have read some of McDonald’s work’s, but I did not know he was so influential. I learned something!

    Liked by 1 person

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