Papers of and relating to George MacDonald

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The papers described below fall into 2 groups: manuscripts and material as printed for serialisation, with additions in manuscript when revised by the author for publication in book form (GB 231 MS 1031; 2165; 2166; 2231); and personal papers of, or relating to, George MacDonald and his family (GB 231 MS 2167; 2254; 2291; 2716 - 2718). Some of the papers in GB 231 MS 2167 include originals of testimonials in favour of George MacDonald's candidature for the chair of English Literature and Belles Lettres at Edinburgh University in 1865; printed copies are preserved in a booklet deposited in the Brander Library, Huntly.

Manuscripts of published works

GB 231 MS 1031 2 manuscript versions of The History of Robert Falconer, as written for serialisation in The Argosy (Dec 1866 - Nov 1867), and revised and amplified for publication in book form, as Robert Falconer, 3 vols (1868), n.d. [c 1866 - 1868]. The first is apparently MacDonald's own copy of the version which was serialised in The Argosy. It is divided into 3 parts -Boyhood, Youth, and Manhood; and annotated with corrections and additions. The second version appears to be an early proof copy of Robert Falconer, being heavily annotated with MacDonald's additions and instructions to the printer, but differing slightly from the published version of the book.

See J.M. Bulloch, A Bibliography of George MacDonald in Aberdeen University Library Bulletin, 5 (1925), 716 - 717.

GB 231 MS 2165 Holograph manuscript of The Vicar's Daughter, revised for publication, with author's corrections and additions, n.d. [1870 - 1871]. Annotations suggest that the novel was serialised in the Sunday Magazine, though there is no evidence of this in Bulloch's A Bibliography of George MacDonald in Aberdeen University Library Bulletin, 5 (1925), 724 - 725.

GB 231 MS 2166 Manuscript of first 10 folios of short story, The Snow Fight, as it was serialised in Good Words for the Young 4 (1872), 9 - 12, and 66 - 70. The manuscript contains numerous deletions and corrections, [ante 1872]. See Bulloch A Bibliography of George MacDonald in Aberdeen University Library Bulletin, 5 (1925), 686 - 687.

GB 231 MS 2231 Manuscript of greater part of the 5 final chapters of At the Back of the North Wind, n.d. [ante Nov. 1868], with 2 letters concerning provenance, 1928 and 1955. This work was serialised in Good Words for the Young, 1-2 (1868 - 1869) (see Bulloch A Bibliography of George MacDonald in Aberdeen University Library Bulletin, 5 (1925), 688 - 689). Other portions are deposited in the Brander Library, Huntly. They have not been collated with this manuscript to see whether they are parts of the same manuscript, or of a different version. See Related Units of Description for further details.

Personal papers of or relating to George MacDonald and his family

GB 231 MS 2167 Letters (31) to George MacDonald, n.d. and 1852 - 1886; letters (12) to Mrs George MacDonald, or female members of the MacDonald family, n.d. and 1865 - 1880; miscellaneous letters and papers (3) by or concerning George MacDonald, n.d. and 1846.

Correspondents represented in George MacDonald's correspondence include J. Llewellyn Davies; Sarah S. Ellis (d 1872), author; Andrew Findlater (1810 - 1885), editor of Chambers's Encyclopaedia; William D. Geddes (1828 - 1900), Principal of Aberdeen University; Dora Greenwell (1821 - 1882), poetess; Russell Gurney (1804 - 1878), MP; Thomas Guthrie (1803 - 1873), preacher and philanthropist; Rev. Norman Macleod (1812 - 1872); Gerald Massey (1828 - 1907, poet; F.D. Maurice (1805 - 1872); J. Noel Paton (1821 - 1901), artist; Samuel Phelps (1804 - 1878), actor; E.H. Plumtree (1821 - 1891), Professor of Divinity and Chaplain, King's College, London; E.B. Ramsay, Dean of Edinburgh; A.H. Harrison; G.F. Hatton; Richard Monckton Milnes, first Baron Houghton (1809 - 1885); Lord Houghton; Thomas Hughes (1822 - 1896), author; Thomas T. Lynch (1818 - 1871), hymn writer; G.F. Maclear; N. Macleod; Aurelio Saffi; A.J. Scott (d 1866), Professor of English Language and Literature, Owen's College, Manchester; W.R. Scott; A. Sidney; William Smith (1813 - 1893), editor of Dictionary of the Bible; William J. Stewart, editor of the Illustrated London News; and Eliza Tabor. Most of the letters relate to MacDonald's, or the correspondent's own, published works; some are also social, and a number contain testimonials in favour of his candidature for the chair of English Literature and Belles Lettres at Edinburgh University.

Mrs MacDonald's correspondence relates mostly to social engagements and family.

GB 231 MS 2254 Letter from George MacDonald to Messrs Sampson, Low, Marston and Co., requesting further copies of The Vicar's Daughter, 26 Jul 1895.

GB 231 MS 2291 Collection of letters and papers (20) addressed to, or collected by Dr. Grenville MacDonald, concerning publication by him of a biography of his father, George MacDonald (1824 - 1905), and the celebrations of the centenary of his birth, 1922 - 1924.

GB 231 MS 2716 Letter from G.M. Pratolino, Italy, to un-named correspondent, consenting to inclusion of ballad (un-named) in collection (also un-named), 30 Jul 1894

GB 231 MS 2717 Letter from George MacDonald to Rev. W.J. Lofty (1839 - 1911), referring to Rev. F.W. Ward and to Wentworth, a member of his household, n.d.

GB 231 MS 2718 Letter from George MacDonald to Miss Selfe, referring to a lecture on 12 June, and giving its title as A Talk about Dante's Paradise

Administrative / Biographical History

George MacDonald was born in Huntly, Aberdeenshire, on 10 December 1824, and died at Ashstead, Surrey, on 18 September 1905. After attending schools in Huntly and Aberdeen, he studied at King's College, Aberdeen during sessions 1840 - 1842 and 1844 - 1845, graduating AM in March 1845. In 1868 he was awarded the degree of LLD by the University of Aberdeen.

A detailed account of his life and his career as a teacher, congregational minister, preacher, poet, novelist and lecturer in London, Arundel, Manchester and elsewhere, and information regarding his family is given in the biography, George MacDonald and his Wife (London, 1924), by his eldest son, Grenville MacDonald, MD. Other information regarding his novels will be found in Robert L. Wolff, The Golden Key: a Study of the Fiction of George MacDonald (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1961). Bibliographical details are given in J.M. Bulloch, A Bibliography of George MacDonald in Aberdeen University Library Bulletin, 5 (1925), 679-747. An article by J.M. Hutton, Sour Grapeshot, correcting some errors in Bulloch's work, was published in Aberdeen University Review, 41 (1965), 85-88. In an article in The Book Collector 17 (1968), 13-25, Unfamiliar Libraries, Hutton describes the George MacDonald Collection in the Brander Library, Huntly, which contains several MSS and a collection of first editions and other items relating to the author. MacDonald's philosophy and writings are also discussed in the Aberdeen University thesis by Glenn E. Sadler, The Cosmic Vision: a Study of the Poetry of George Macdonald (1967). This includes a chronological table of MacDonald's life and writings, an extensive bibliography, and an index of MacDonald MSS located or consulted.

Arrangement

None observed in original listing, but interim arrangement, by record type (as described above) adopted until further listing is possible.

Conditions Governing Access

Open, subject to signature accepting conditions of use at reader registration sheet

Acquisition Information

GB 231 MS 1031: gifted to the University in Sept 1936, by Dr. Grenville MacDonald; GB 231 MS 1031: gifted to the University in Sept 1936, by Dr. Grenville MacDonald; GB 231 MS 2165 - 2167: purchased by the University in Feb 1953, from Arthur Rogers, bookseller, Newcastle-upon-Tyne; GB 231 MS 2165 - 2167: purchased by the University in Feb 1953, from Arthur Rogers, bookseller, Newcastle-upon-Tyne; GB 231 MS 2231: gifted to the University in Sept 1955, by Mrs Dora MacKenzie, Perthshire, to whose father, Rev. George Bruce, it had been given for her by Ronald MacDonald, son of George MacDonald, in 1928; GB 231 MS 2231: gifted to the University in Sept 1955, by Mrs Dora MacKenzie, Perthshire, to whose father, Rev. George Bruce, it had been given for her by Ronald MacDonald, son of George MacDonald, in 1928; GB 231 MS 2254: purchased by the University in Sept 1956, from Arthur Rogers, bookseller, Newcastle-upon-Tyne; GB 231 MS 2254: purchased by the University in Sept 1956, from Arthur Rogers, bookseller, Newcastle-upon-Tyne; GB 231 MS 2291:purchased by the University in Dec 1957, from W.A. Chislett; GB 231 MS 2291:purchased by the University in Dec 1957, from W.A. Chislett; GB 231 MS 2716 - 2717: purchased by the University in Dec 1968; GB 231 MS 2716 - 2717: purchased by the University in Dec 1968; GB 231 MS 2718: purchased by the University in Jul 1969. Originally pasted into a copy of George MacDonald's The Tragedie of Hamlet (1924 ed.), sent by A.S. Dean to R.N. Green-Armitage, Bath, for review in August 1924.

Other Finding Aids

Descriptive list available in the Reading Room, Special Libraries and Archives (e-mail: speclib@abdn.ac.uk)

Very brief collection level description available on Aberdeen University Library Catalogue, accessible online http://www.abdn.ac.uk/diss/library/

Alternative Form Available

No copies known

Conditions Governing Use

Subject to the condition of the original, copies may be supplied for private research use only on receipt of a signed undertaking to comply with current copyright legislation.

Permission to make any published use of material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Head of Special Libraries and Archives (e-mail: speclib@abdn.ac.uk) and, where appropriate, from the copyright owner. Where possible, assistance will be given in identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with normal procedures

Accruals

No accruals expected

Related Material

Literary MSS, collected material (Huntly Branch Library - see Location register of 20th century English literary MSS 1988) (Reference : NRA(S)3522 and NRA 38423 Macdonald) Literary MSS, collected material (Huntly Branch Library - see Location register of 20th century English literary MSS 1988) (Reference : NRA(S)3522 and NRA 38423 Macdonald) Correspondence, literary MSS and papers, 1851-1905 (Harvard University: Houghton Library - see NUC MS 81-590)Correspondence, literary MSS and papers, 1851-1905 (Harvard University: Houghton Library - see NUC MS 81-590)Correspondence (c3400 items) (Yale University Libraries: Beinecke Library - see Guide 1976)Correspondence (c3400 items) (Yale University Libraries: Beinecke Library - see Guide 1976)Correspondence and poems (London University: Kings College Archives) (Reference : KCLCA K/PP82)Correspondence and poems (London University: Kings College Archives) (Reference : KCLCA K/PP82)MS of Diary of an Old Soul (Oxford University: Balliol College Library - see Mynors, Catalogue of MSS) (Reference : MS 418)MS of Diary of an Old Soul (Oxford University: Balliol College Library - see Mynors, Catalogue of MSS) (Reference : MS 418)Manuscripts (Manchester Archives and Local Studies - see ASLIB Directory of Literary and Historical Collections 1993)Letters (22) to Henry Allon, 1866-91, nd (Dr Williams's Library - see Location register of 20th century English literary MSS 1988) (Reference : MS 24110 (220-41)) Letters (22) to Henry Allon, 1866-91, nd (Dr Williams's Library - see Location register of 20th century English literary MSS 1988) (Reference : MS 24110 (220-41)) Letters to Lord and Lady Mount-Temple and poems, 1862 - 1900 (National Library of Scotland, Manuscripts Division) (Reference : MS 9745) Letters to Lord and Lady Mount-Temple and poems, 1862 - 1900 (National Library of Scotland, Manuscripts Division) (Reference : MS 9745) Letters to Henry Septimus Sutton (Nottingham University Library, Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections) (NRA 12432 Sutton) Letters to Henry Septimus Sutton (Nottingham University Library, Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections) (NRA 12432 Sutton) Letters (42), 1851-94 (Huntington Library - see Guide to Literary MSS 1979)

Bibliography

See Scope and Content

Additional Information

This material is original