The Fiction of George MacDonald
$10.00 – $35.00
Many readers are acquainted with the works of C.S. Lewis. But then how many among his fanbase can say they the same of the very man whom Lewis drew his creative inspiration from—George MacDonald? Well, perhaps some of you will be convinced to change that. My interest with MacDonald as of late has to do with the resurgance of fairy culture as well as alternate worlds and hidden doorways, all of which captivated public consciousness during the Victorian era. Why is that, and does it have something to do with the lost world of the mud flood?
Take Lilith: A Romance, for example. One of MacDonald’s later works, Lilith is not only considered his darkest, but also his most profound. With elements such as mirrored worlds via looking glasses, science fiction bibliographer and scholar Richard Neil Barron has noted the inspiration of Lewis Carroll, though he adds, MacDonald’s is easily the strangest product of Victorian fantasy. Without absorbing too many plot points, Lilith is a story concerning the nature of life, death, and salvation. And of course, the title doesn’t disappoint either. The story most definitely features Lilith, Adam’s first ill-fated wife. Speaking of salvation: it is well known that MacDonald was a Christian universalist. This particular novel describes a cosmic sleep that heals tortured souls in which divine punishment is not taken lightly, and salvation is hard-won.
Among all of MacDonald’s works, PHANTASTES is the most renowned today, likely due to C.S. Lewis’ praise of it in Surprised By Joy. This is the novel which, in Lewis’ words, baptized his imagination, making his own Space Trilogy as well as The Chronicles of Narnia possible. And of course, PHANTASTES was also a direct influence on J.R.R. Tolkien.