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by George Macdonald
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From Publishers Weekly
George MacDonald's 1870s' Sir Gibbie, about a destitute Scottish orphan, was reportedly a favorite of C.S. Lewis's. An edition of the novel, prepared by Kathryn Lindskoog, inaugurates a Classics for Young Readers series, while a companion, Sir Gibbie: A Guide for Teachers and Students by Ranelda Mack Hunsicker, is available for teachers, students and home-schoolers. In the Guide, Hunsicker contends that Sir Gibbie served as a source for Huckleberry Finn, although Mark Twain (a friend of MacDonald's) upended MacDonald's religious message. Noting that previous editions of Gibbie "cut out much of MacDonald's Christian teaching," Hunsicker adds that Lindskoog's goal was "to restore [the book] to its original Christ-centered plot."
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SIR GIBBIE is, I think, at once the most direct and most beautiful of all George MacDonalds novels... Children as much delight in its magic as they cherish the enchantment of his fairy tales. -- Greville MacDonald, author of GEORGE MACDONALD AND HIS WIFE
Sir Gibbie is a novel by George MacDonald. It is notable for its Doric dialogue, but has been criticised for being part of the kailyard movement. 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).
"Come oot o' the gutter, ye nickum!" cried, in harsh, half-masculine voice, a woman standing on the curbstone of a short, narrow, dirty lane, at right angles to an important thoroughfare, itself none of the widest or cleanest. She was dressed in dark petticoat and print wrapper. One of her shoes was down at the heel, and discovered a great hole in her stocking. Had her black hair been brushed and displayed, it would have revealed a thready glitter of grey, but all that was now visible of it was only two or three untidy tresses that dropped from under a cap of black net and green ribbons, which looked as if she had slept in it.
Card catalog description
In nineteenth-century Scotland, Gibbie, recently orphaned by his father's sudden death, witnesses a violent murder and flees to the countryside where he finds a new life and experiences many adventures.
About the Author
In the early 1990s Kathryn Lindskoog edited a series of childrens classics, including LITTLE WOMEN, ROBINSON CRUSOE, BLACK BEAUTY, SIR GIBBIE, A LITTLE PRINCESS, and HANS BRINKER OR THE SILVER SKATES. She went on after that with a similar project for adults, completing a clear three-volume edition of Dantes DIVINE COMEDY in contemporary English prose.
Although Lindskoog has published a variety of original books for adults, she has never outgrown her earliest book- love of all -- childrens literature. Her first book, THE LION OF JUDAH IN NEVER-NEVER LAND (written in 1957 and republished in its fourth edition in 1997) was about C. S. Lewiss Narnian Chronicles. Her book about the whole spectrum of childrens literature, titled HOW TO GROW A YOUNG READER, was first published in 1978 and is being released in its third edition in 1999. So her entire career as an author, 1957-1999 is bracketed by her two books about books for children.
Lindskoog is a resident of Orange, California, where she and her husband John enjoyed raising and reading to their own children.
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