C. S. Lewis once remarked that his debt to George MacDonald's writings was "almost as great as one man can owe to another . . . I know hardly any other writer who seems to be closer, or more continually close, to the Spirit of Christ Himself." Born in Scotland in 1824, MacDonald was educated at King's College in Aberdeen and Highbury Seminary in London. As a Christian minister, he indulged early his fondness--and skill--in the writing of poetry, then fantasy and fiction, as well as sermons.
Quickly becoming known for his literary skills, he became a popular writer and lecturer, counting among his friends and fans Lady Byron, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Mark Twain, John Ruskin, Matthew Arnold, and Lewis Carroll (who only published Alice's Adventures in Wonderland at the urging of the MacDonald family). At the time of his death in 1905, he left behind a large volume of work that has had a profound influence on many writers, including G. K. Chesterton, C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Madeleine L'Engle, and Frederick Buechner.
This seminal biography is based upon a careful researching of thousands of letters written to and by MacDonald as well as personal papers and documents collected in museums and libraries in America and Europe. A noted MacDonald scholar, Rolland Hein spent over a decade reading and researching these documents with a view to exploring those aspects of the life and experiences of this great author and saint that have so profoundly influenced many of the seminal authors of the twentieth century.