MacDONALD, George, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts

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MacDONALD, George (1824-1905). Poet and novelist.
Two Autograph Letters Signed to his sister-in-law Phoebe [Sing], 8 pages 8vo (one a little soiled), Arundel, 17 October 1851 and Newport, 10 December 1858. Six further letters include two to Mrs (Louisa) MacDonald, one to George MacDdonald, one to his son, Dr Greville MacDonald, and two other perhaps related.
The two letters to his sister both thank her for the gift of pictures which he intends to frame and hang in his study ('if I live to have one'), and comment on his life and preaching etc.
'... How would it do to have a double frame, & put the Rydal lake alongside of it? ... I expect a visit from Greville. He has great delight in colours - and I hope he will be able to see the colours in our woods. Despite what the mesmerisée said, I do think my chief delight is the form [?farm]. I am rather pleased that I have not to preach next Sunday. We have missionary sermons then. I think this is the first Sunday I have not preached since the ninth of March. ...' (1851)
'... You know I am not a judge, but I know that it wakes pleasurable feelings in me, and I presume that is all you expected from my ignorance when you so kindly sent it. I think I am better, but I dont get strong very fast. I should like better to be under homeopathic treatment. ...' (1858)
The two letters to Mrs MacDonald are from female friends or relations. A letter from Mary P. Tabor suggests using bells as a background sound in 'one of the Pilgrim Scenes'. Three pages are neatly crossed through in red ink as though to indicate that the content had been duly noted. Beatie ['Tyrell'] sends greetings and thanks, rather effusively. From New York Henry Whitney Cleveland writes at some length to George MacDonald explaining why he has been unable to repay a debt to him incurred in England, complains bitterly that his novel has been ruined by the cuts suggested by his mentor, and rails against American publishers. The letter to Dr Greville MacDonald of Harley Street (son) is from a firm of solicitors in 1910 returning a manuscript and making suggestions as to the treatment of letters in publication ('for instance, you might group together all the portions of the letters relating to criticism of your father's novels, and extract the facts and information & deal with these altogether ...').

The reference to Greville would have been to Greville Matheson of London, a close friend of the MacDonalds. The couple would name their first son Greville Matheson MacDonald in 1856.

We are grateful to Barbara Amell, the editor of Wingfold, for further information about this letter.
[No: 20704]

The image is of the last page of the first letter.

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