Cartoon portraits and biographical sketches of men of the day/George Macdonald
The subject of our cartoon was born in Scotland in the year 1824. He is well known as the editor of 'Good Words for the Young,' the title of which has lately been changed to 'Good Things.' The periodical over the interests of which Mr. Macdonald presides was started after the great success that attended its parent, 'Good Words,' when under the care of the late Dr. Norman Macleod.
Mr. Macdonald's first attempt at a book of any importance was met with a rebuff from the eminent publisher to whom he had offered the manuscript. He received a note, the terms of which are familiar to every man of letters, successful or unsuccessful.
He was told that, though the manuscript was a credit to him, and showed signs of great promise for the future, it contained certain things that it was not desirable, &c. In a word, the copy was politely declined. After this, however, Mr. Macdonald, with the perseverance of his nation, tried again, and was successful.
The book the first eminent publisher had rejected was 'David Elginbrod,' the author's best novel.The following is a pretty complete list of Mr. Macdonald's works: 'Phantastes,' 'David Elginbrod,' 'The Portent,' 'Alec Forbes of Howglen,' 'Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood,' 'Guild Court,' 'At the Back of the North Wind,' 'Dealings with the Fairies,' 'Robert Falconer,' 'The Seaboard Parish,' 'Ronald Bannerman's Boyhood,' 'The Miracles of our Lord,' 'Unspoken Sermons,' 'Wilfrid Cumbermede,' and 'The Vicar's Daughter.' Mr. Macdonald's first books displayed considerable originality of thought; the characters were strongly marked and life-like, and they had a good Scotch savour about them. Since then, however, their author has been on the decline; his books have grown dull, and he has taken to favouring his
readers with long and troublesome sermons in every other chapter of what he is pleased to style new novels.
The fall of the once ubiquitous A. K. H. B.—as far as current literature was concerned—may be traced to foisting upon the public a book of sermons as 'The Graver Thoughts of a Country Parson.' Mr. Macdonald should take warning in time, and call novels novels and sermons sermons.
We should rejoice to see him again writing such books as 'Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood' and 'David Elginbrod;' and we very much regret he ever devoted himself to goody-goody literature.