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The Elect Lady
by George Macdonald
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The Elect Lady is an 1888 novel by George Macdonald. The story is centered upon three main characters: Andrew, a poor, scholarly, godly man; Dawtie, a simple servant girl who cares for animals; and Alexa, the landlord's daughter and the landlord himself. George MacDonald (1824-1905) was a Scottish author, poet, and Christian minister. Though no longer a household name, his works (particularly his fairy tales and fantasy novels) have inspired deep admiration in such notables as W. H. Auden, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Madeleine L'Engle. C. S. Lewis wrote that he regarded MacDonald as his "master". Even Mark Twain, who initially despised MacDonald, became friends with him. MacDonald grew up influenced by his Congregational Church, with an atmosphere of Calvinism. But MacDonald never felt comfortable with some aspects of Calvinist doctrine. Later novels, such as Robert Falconer (1868) and Lilith (1895), show a distaste for the Calvinist idea that God's electing love is limited to some and denied to others. Especially in his Unspoken Sermons (1867-89) he shows a highly developed theology. His best-known works are Phantastes (1858), At the Back of the North Wind (1871) and The Princess and the Goblin (1872), all fantasy novels, and fairy tales such as - The Light Princess (1867), The Golden Key (1867), and The Wise Woman (1875).
Perhaps the hour may come, ma'am, when I shall be able to pray with my fellow-men, even though the words they use seem addressed to a tyrant, not to the Father of Jesus Christ. But at present I can not. I might endure to hear Mr. Smith say evil things concerning God, but the evil things he says to God make me quite unable to pray, and I feel like a hypocrite!
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