English Literature Of The 19th Century:
Richard Doddridge Blackmore
Sir Walter Besant
Robert Louis Stevenson
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( Originally Published Early 1900's )
The earliest of the novelists of Scottish life, with marked religious purpose, was George Macdonald. He was born at Huntly, in the North of Scotland, in 1824. After graduating at Aberdeen University, he studied theology in the Independent College, Highbury, London. For some years he was a preacher to Scotch Congregationalists in London, then resigned his ministry and joined the Church of England. He became principal of a seminary, but has been chiefly engaged in literary work, and has resided much in Italy. His first publications were poems, which were followed by "Phantastes, a Faerie Romance" (1858). His first novel, "David Elginbrod," appeared in 1862, and was the harbinger of a large number of the same class. His motive is to present to his fellow-men "the common good, uncommonly developed," as being more true to humanity than pictures of evil or failure. This strong moral purpose, faithfully carried out, does not prevent him from showing power in his carefully wrought plots, life-like characters, and dramatic incidents. Among his best novels are "Alec Forbes of Howglen," "Annals of a Quiet Neighborhood," "Wilfrid Cumbermede," "The Marquis of Lossie," and especially "Sir Gibbie." Peculiarly attractive are his stories for children, "At the Back of the North Wind" and "The Princess and Curdie." He has also published some sermons and religious treatises. His poems are pure and spiritual.