George MacDonald (1824-1905), Scottish Victorian novelist, began his adult life as a clergyman, but his unorthodox views resulted in a very short career in the pulpit, after which he turned to writing in earnest. He initially attracted notice for poetry and his adult fantasy, Phantastes, but once he turned to the writing of realistic novels in the early 1860s, his name became widely known throughout Great Britain and the U.S. Over the next thirty years he wrote some fifty books, an influential body of work that placed him alongside the great Victorian men of letters and his following was vast.
After his death, MacDonald's reputation gradually declined and most of his books eventually went out of print. However, MacDonald was read and revered by an impressive gallery of well-known figures including G.K. Chesterton, W.H. Auden, Oswald Chambers, and C.S. Lewis. Eventually, a resurgence of interest in this forgotten Victorian, primarily in the U.S., began to mount in the 1970s, given initial impetus by the work of Wheaton professor Dr. Rolland Hein, and then exploding into public view from the efforts of MacDonald redactor and biographer Michael Phillips.