Hawaii 2010

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

I do believe in Fairies, I do, I do!!!

The end of monsoon brings some beautiful sunsets to the desert southwest.

Micheal Phillips has spent his career studying the life of George MacDonald and his literature and influence, including a resergence of his novels by shortening them and taking the Scottish dialect out.

The Biography of George and Louisa and their eleven children spans the end of the victorian era. It was so fascinating to see how this man's vision of the good fatherhood of God being at the center of the universe so affected those who encountered his writing.

His biography was based upon their son's loving memoirs published in the 20s. At the end it traced the changes in the last century that caused MacDonald's beloved writing to go completely out of sink with modern readers.....except for his fantasy genre, which meant so much to our contemporaries, C.S. Lewis and Tolkien.

I am going to be collecting his republished works now that I understand the man's life and thought. Today in my reading time I started Phantastes and Lillith, two novels printed together which were written early and late in his 50 year career as a poet, author, preacher, lecturer, father and husband. These books explore the world of fairy land, talking trees and animals, which Lewis used with such power in his Christian fantasy.

So many of his family and friends died of tuberculosis, and he was affected by lung disease that almost took his life three times and forced him to spend the winters in warm places. Yet he lived to be 80 years old and celebrate over 50 years with his precious and long suffering wife. A wonderful book, a man who was friends to Twain, Longfellow, Tennyson and so many leaders of the last half of the 19th century.

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