A Historical 19th Century Bibliography of His Published Works
A description of all books authored by George MacDonald in his lifetime.
> A bibliography and brief summary of each the original works of George MacDonald published in his lifetime.” align=”right” alt=”The Original Writings of George MacDonald >> A bibliography and brief summary of each the original works of George MacDonald published in his lifetime.” src=”http://www.macdonaldphillips.com/images/bookedges1.jpg”>Twelve of the Spiritual Songs of Novalis
1851, Christmas, self published by MacDonald and given as Christmas gifts to friends. Poems of MacDonald’s favorite poet, translated from the original German.
Within and Without: A Dramatic Poem
1855, May, Longman, Brown, Green. MacDonald’s first work published by major publisher. Long narrative love poem in blank verse, portion of which was presented to wife Louisa as a wedding gift. The major part of the book was written in 1850-51, two months before their marriage. The title is taken from Blake’s Jerusalem , “God is within and without, even in the depths of Hell.”
1857, August, Longman, Brown, Green, MacDonald’s first published (of many) collection of poetry. It is generally recognized that poetry was his first love and that MacDonald considered himself foremost a poet rather than a novelist.
Phantastes: A Fairie Romance for Men and Women
1858, October, Smith, Elder & Co., MacDonald’s first fantasy, an adult “fairie romance” to distinguish it from many children’s fantasies that would follow, and the book that attracted some notice in England’s literary circles, in spite of modest sales, and began to set MacDonald apart as a talented young author to watch.
1863, Hurst & Blackett. After a publishing hiatus of five years, MacDonald’s first full-length Scottish adult novel appeared. Though a mere “story” (and romance at that) in the eyes of some, David Elginbrod was enormously successful and almost immediately catapulted MacDonald’s career forward. Within a decade MacDonald was near the top echelon among British novelists. Though he would continue all his life to write and publish poetry, it would throughout the remainder of his lifetime be as a “Victorian novelist” that he would primarily be known to the reading public. It is in David Elginbrod that the character Robert Falconer makes his first public appearance, though in fact his very first appearance came several years earlier in MacDonald’s first fictional effort, a novel called Seekers and Finders. This first novel was rejected by MacDonald’s publisher, was never published, and the manuscript was subsequently destroyed by MacDonald’s sons.
1864, Smith, Elder, a fiction tale defying categorization (as does much of MacDonald’s work.) Technically a “novel” whose complete title reads The Portent: A story of the inner vision of the highlanders, commonly called the second sight, it is unlike MacDonald’s more realistic fiction, such as David Elginbrod which it followed, and is sometimes included with Phantastes and Lilith as one of his “visionary” works. Of biographical interest are the hints of the “old library in the north” which MacDonald is thought to have catalogued one summer while a student and which exercised a powerful influence on his young imagination. Throughout the 1850s and 1860s, MacDonald’s short stories and literary essays were being published in magazines, steadily increasing public awareness of his writing and paving the way for the eventual appearance of his full-length novels. The Portent, as one such, had been written earlier and had appeared in “The Cornhill Magazine” in 1860, the first of his lengthy works to be serialized. To some The Portent is a spooky tale that will raise a few goosebumps up the spine of even the most intrepid of readers. His son Greville commented: “The story is different from almost any other of his books.It is weird, yet strangely convincing, and has no touch of the didactic.”
1864, April, Hurst & Blackett, a creative attempt on MacDonald’s part to package a collection of short stories in the guise of a “novel.” In it a group of travelers becomes snowbound in a country inn and pass the time by telling each other stores. Some of MacDonald’s well-known short stories made their first appearance in Adela Cathcart, others had already appeared in periodicals. It was a book whose story-contents changed with new editions, notably the “second edition” of 1882 whose contents were quite different than in the original. Among the contents one finds: The Light Princess, The Shadows, My Uncle Peter, Birth, Dreaming, and Death, The Snow Fight, A Child’s Holiday, A Journey Rejourneyed, and others.
A Hidden Life and Other Poems
1864, Longman, Green, a reprint of formerly published Poems.
> A bibliography and brief summary of each the original works of George MacDonald published in his lifetime.” align=”right” alt=”The Original Writings of George MacDonald >> A bibliography and brief summary of each the original works of George MacDonald published in his lifetime.” src=”http://www.macdonaldphillips.com/images/bookedges2.jpg”>Alec Forbes of Howglen
1865, Hurst & Blackett, the second of MacDonald’s major Scottish realistic novels, the story of Annie Anderson and Alec Forbes. Set in Huntly in northern Scotland (fictionalized as “Glamerton”) this novel contains many autobiographical glimpses into MacDonald’s own childhood in the small Scottish town where he was raised. It is considered by some critics as MacDonald’s best and most literarily cohesive work of fiction.
Annals of a Quiet Neighborhood
1867, Hurst & Blackett, MacDonald’s first English novel, set in Arundel on the downs south of London near the coast and site of MacDonald’s first and only pastorate as a newly married clergyman in 1851-53. The MacDonald home of those years and the Congregational Church are still standing in Arundel. This book is wonderfully descriptive of the region, with autobiographical hints of MacDonald’s outlook as a young pastor. The story had first appeared in serialized form in the “Sunday Magazine” in 1865.
1867, Alexander Strahan, MacDonald’s first collection of spiritual essays, or “sermons.” Besides being a poet, MacDonald was at heart a preacher and remained so all his life. Though he continued to preach upon occasion, the resignation from his pulpit in Arundel in 1853 forced him into writing, with the consequence that henceforth he had to put his sermons into written form, a development for which future generations are enormously grateful.