A comprehensive bibliographic biography of 19th century Scotsman George MacDonald, focusing on the development of his written corpus of works and how they emerged out of the events and circumstances of his life.
In 1879 George MacDonald said that no biography should be written of a man still living. He wrote: “I trust the outer life of one who has written a good many volumes tending to reveal most that is worth knowing of his inner life, will be forgotten in this world, after he has left it…I do not like or approve…of publicizing live people. If anything is left after a hundred years, accompanied by a desire to know, then is soon enough.” This major new work by Michael Phillips thus qualifies as the first biography of MacDonald written, according to that criteria, more than a hundred years after his death.
At over 600 pages, it the longest biography ever written about the Scotsman, focusing on the development and progressive publication of his written works, explaining how the events of his life contributed to the evolution of that legacy. The extensive appendices outline in brief the 19th-century publications of MacDonald's corpus of writings, detailing the most thorough bibliographic comparison of U.K. and U.S. publications ever compiled.
Best selling novelist, editor, and publisher of numerous volumes by and about his mentor, Michael Phillips is recognized as a man with keen insight into George MacDonald’s heart and message. As a best-selling novelist in his own right, he is doubly qualified to reveal the deeper themes of MacDonald’s writing life. He brings his wisdom to bear on the individual volumes of The Cullen Collection of the Fiction of George MacDonald, pointing out each book’s essential themes, and offering insights into how each title in MacDonald’s fictional corpus can most perceptively be read. This latest of Phillips’ many contributions to MacDonald scholarship, what he calls a “bibliographic biography,” will surely take its place among the significant illuminations of MacDonald’s life and work for many years to come.