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MacDonald, George (1824–1905)

  1. Kirstin Jeffrey Johnson

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc0836

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Johnson, K. J. 2011. MacDonald, George (1824–1905). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


Born in Huntly, Aberdeenshire, in Scotland, to farmer and mill-owner George and Helen (MacKay) MacDonald, George MacDonald was the author of approximately 50 volumes comprising poetry, fairy tales, novels, short stories, sermons, essays, hymns, translated poetry, and literary criticism. Best recognized today for his fiction, both for adults and children, he is considered a patriarch of modern Fantasy — but one of his many interfacing genres. Nineteenth-century critics claimed that his presentation of God as loving and longing Father, within fiction, was revolutionary. His explorations of the theological role of the imagination, implicit throughout but carefully articulated in “The Imagination and Its Functions,” profoundly influenced G. K. Chesterton, C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Dorothy Sayers.


  • MacDonald, George (1824–1905);
  • first novel, phantastes;
  • expression of federal calvinism;
  • unspoken sermons;
  • diary of an old soul, religious poems