Christine Norvell recently wrote an essay about one of George MacDonald’s novels that I’ve not read, Sir Gibbie:
Sometimes you read a book that causes you to marvel at the possibility of goodness in our human frame. As I reread George MacDonald’s Sir Gibbie (1879), I was filled with questions, the same questions I’m sure that prompted C.S. Lewis to call the novel a fantasy. In his Preface to George MacDonald: An Anthology, Lewis termed MacDonald’s novels “a rich crop,” yet at the same time writes that “none is very good.” He felt “they are best when they depart most from the canons of novel writing… to come nearer to fantasy, as in the whole character of the hero in Sir Gibbie.”
I think this book would make a nice gift for young readers, especially the recent translation from the Scots by David Jack. I love that the original dialogue is given in double column format with the English translation to the side. (You can read about it here)
And you may enjoy hearing David Jack’s “Scottish burr” as he reads one of MacDonald’s poems, “Godly Ballant IV”.