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The Marquis Of Lossie

by George Macdonald

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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).

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And so the young earl held his head high, looked as innocent as may be desirable for a gentleman, had many a fair clean hand laid in his, and many a maiden waist yielded to his arm, while "the woman" flitted about half an alien amongst her own, with his child wound in her old shawl of Lossie tartan; wandering not seldom in the gloaming when her little one slept, along the top of the dune, with the wind blowing keen upon her from the regions of eternal ice, sometimes the snow settling softly on her hair, sometimes the hailstones nestling in its meshes; the skies growing blacker about her, and the sea stormier, while hope retreated so far into the heavenly regions, that hope and heaven both were lost to her view. Thus, alas! the things in which he was superior to her, most of all that he was a gentleman, while she was but a peasant girl-- the things whose witchery drew her to his will, he made the means of casting her down from the place of her excellency into the mire of shame and loss. The only love worthy of the name ever and always uplifts.



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