(Well, Mr Pond and a bunch of more interesting people.)
I’m very, very happy to be able to announce that Rethinking George MacDonald: Contexts and Contemporaries was published today, and is available for purchase at this link. This is an anthology I co-edited with Christopher MacLachlan and Ginger Stelle, and was published by the Association for Scottish Literary Studies as Vol. 17 of their excellent Occasional Papers series.
If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you may remember when I co-organised a conference on George MacDonald. Well, that conference turned into an anthology and now you can read it for yourself. It’s a book that looks at MacDonald as a Victorian writer, rather than a proto-Inkling, and there’re a lot more of his books and topics and perspectives covered than you’ll see most anywhere else. If you want to read about How the Fairies were not Invited to Court, or Divine Alchemy, or Speaking Matrilineally, or even
George MacDonald and the Grave Livers, look no further: read this anthology.
I’m really very proud of this book.
Publisher’s Description (with the wonderful word ‘hitherto’ in):
George MacDonald (1824–1905) is the acknowledged forefather of later fantasy writers such as C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien: however, his place in his own time is seldom examined. This omission does MacDonald a grave disservice. By ignoring a fundamental aspect of what made MacDonald the man he was, the critical habit of viewing MacDonald’s work only in terms of his followers reinforces the long-entrenched assessment that it has a limited value – one only for religious enthusiasts and fantasy lovers.
The sixteen essays in this anthology seek to correct that omission, by looking directly at MacDonald the Victorian – at his place in the Victorian literary scene, at his engagement with the works of his literary contemporaries and at his interest in the social, political, and theological movements of his age. The resulting portrait reveals a MacDonald who deserves a more prominent place in the rich literary history of the nineteenth century than he has hitherto been given.