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.
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