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by George Macdonald
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David Elginbrod was George Macdonald's first real success, a novel of Scottish country life. Published in 1862, it was dedicated to the memory of Lady Noel Byron. 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).
I'm no jist prepared to say sae muckle, Janet, replied David; "there's mony a thing 'at's lees, as ye ca't, 'at's no lees a' through. Ye see, Maister Sutherlan', I'm no gleg at the uptak, an' it jist taks me twise as lang as ither fowk to see to the ootside o' a thing. Whiles a sentence 'ill leuk to me clean nonsense a'thegither; an' maybe a haill ook efter, it'll come upo' me a' at ance; an' fegs! it's the best thing in a' the beuk."
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