Author Guide: George MacDonald

This is a guide to the works of George MacDonald, including links to available PDFs on the Internet Archive. The books in each section are in chronological order.

If you want to see all of the ways to read MacDonald’s books for free, you can click here.
If you just want an alphabetical list of PDFs, you can find that here.


As a predecessor and an inspiration to 20th-century giants like Tolkien and Lewis, MacDonald may be considered by some as founding the modern fantasy genre. Many of these are clearly “fairy tales” from the beginning; others, like Phantastes and Lilith, experiment with genre.

The Curdie stories, The Princess and the Goblin and The Princess and Curdie, are two of MacDonald’s most popular books.

  1. Phantastes: A Fairie Romance for Men and Women (Our Review: ★★)
    “Cross Purposes”
  2. Adela Cathcart, containing “The Light Princess”, “The Shadows”, and other short stories
  3. The Portent
  4. Dealings with the Fairies, containing “The Golden Key”, “The Light Princess”, “The Shadows”, and other short stories
  5. At the Back of the North Wind
  6. The Princess and the Goblin (Our Review: ★★★★★)
  7. The Wise Woman: A Parable (also published as “The Lost Princess: A Double Story”; or as “A Double Story”)
  8. The Gifts of the Child Christ and Other Tales (republished as Stephen Archer and Other Tales)
  9. The Day Boy and the Night Girl
  10. The Princess and Curdie, a sequel to The Princess and the Goblin (Our Review: ★★★★★)
  11. The Flight of the Shadow
  12. Lilith: A Romance

Realistic fiction

MacDonald’s realistic novels, like good autobiography, centers around the developments within individual human souls. His novels usually have romantic elements, but this often takes a back seat to spiritual development. Fiction was a theological outlet for MacDonald, so the original printings include much more reflection and sermonic language; some of this is omitted in the new abridgements.

Beginners usually start with either Robert Falconer (Musician’s Quest in Michael Phillips’ edition), or There and Back (The Baron’s Apprenticeship).

I have tried to mark novels with Scotch dialogue by an asterisk.

  1. David Elginbrod* (updated as The Tutor’s First Love)
  2. Alec Forbes of Howglen* (updated as The Maiden’s Bequest)
  3. Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood (Our Review: ★★★★★)
  4. Guild Court: A London Story (updated as The Prodigal Apprentice)
  5. Robert Falconer (updated as The Musician’s Quest) (Our Review: ★★★★★)
  6. The Seaboard Parish, a sequel to Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood (Our Review: ★★★★★)
  7. Ranald Bannerman’s Boyhood* (updated as The Boyhood of Ranald Bannerman)
  8. Wilfrid Cumbermede*
  9. The Vicar’s Daughter, a sequel to Annals of a Quiet Neighborhood and The Seaboard Parish
  10. Gutta Percha Willie, the Working Genius* (updated as The Genius of Willie MacMichael)
  11. Malcolm(updated under the same title)
  12. St. George and St. Michael
  13. Thomas Wingfold, Curate (updated as The Curate’s Awakening) (Our Review: ★★★★★)
  14. The Marquis of Lossie* (updated as The Marquis’ Secret), the sequel of Malcolm (Our Review: ★★★★)
  15. Paul Faber, Surgeon (updated as The Lady’s Confession), a sequel to Thomas Wingfold, Curate
  16. Sir Gibbie* (updated as The Baronet’s Song) (Our Review: ★★★★★)
  17. Mary Marston (updated as A Daughter’s Devotion and The Shopkeeper’s Daughter)
  18. Warlock o’ Glenwarlock* (updated as Castle Warlock and The Laird’s Inheritance)
  19. Weighed and Wanting (updated as The Gentlewoman’s Choice) (Our Review: ★★)
  20. Donal Grant* (updated as The Shepherd’s Castle), a sequel to Sir Gibbie
  21. What’s Mine’s Mine (updated as The Highlander’s Last Song)
  22. Home Again: A Tale (updated as The Poet’s Homecoming)
  23. The Elect Lady (updated as The Landlady’s Master)
  24. A Rough Shaking (updated as The Wanderings of Clare Skymer)
  25. There and Back (updated as The Baron’s Apprenticeship), a sequel to Paul Faber, Surgeon (Our Review: ★★★★★)
  26. Heather and Snow* (updated as The Peasant Girl’s Dream) (Our Review: ★★★)
  27. Salted with Fire* (updated as The Minister’s Restoration)
  28. Far Above Rubies


Diary of an Old Soul is MacDonald’s most popular book of poetry today. It is more reflective and generally introspective than devotional calendars used in his day like that of Keable. His popularity as a poet probably does not equal the ambition of these volumes, but a few of his short poems have great devotional merit.

  1. Within and Without: A Dramatic Poem
  2. Poems (1857)
  3. “A Hidden Life” and Other Poems
  4. “The Disciple” and Other Poems
  5. Dramatic and Miscellaneous Poems
  6. Diary of an Old Soul (Our Review: ★★★★)
  7. The Threefold Cord: Poems by Three Friends (privately printed, with Greville Matheson and John Hill MacDonald)
  8. Poems (1887)
  9. The Poetical Works of George MacDonald (2 vol.)
  10. Scotch Songs and Ballads
  11. Rampolli: Growths from a Long-planted Root


While MacDonald wrote a few books of literary studies, his five books of sermons are, in my opinion, the best thing he ever wrote. Some readers find Unspoken Sermons too philosophical to read straight through, yet it is filled with profound theological insight—most of C. S. Lewis’ George MacDonald anthology was pulled from this three-volume set. The Miracles of Our Lord is MacDonald at his most biblical, expository, and accessible, and The Hope of the Gospel is pretty similar but with a .

  1. England’s Antiphon (a history of religious poetry)
  2. The Miracles of Our Lord (sermons) (Our Review: ★★★★★)
  3. The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke: A Study With the Test of the Folio of 1623
  4. Unspoken Sermons (1st series, 2nd series, 3rd series) (Our Review: ★★★★★)
  5. A Cabinet of Gems (writings of Sir Phillip Sidney, comp. George MacDonald)
  6. The Hope of the Gospel (sermons) (Our Review: ★★)
  7. A Dish of Orts (expanded from Orts)
  8. George MacDonald in the Pulpit
  9. Getting to Know Jesus (edited sermons)
  10. Proving the Unseen (edited sermons) (Our Review: ★★★★)


  1. God’s Words to His Children (sermons & sermonic novel excerpts)
  2. Works of Fancy and Imagination (multi-volume, short stories & poetry)
  3. Cheerful Words from the Writing of George MacDonald (comp. E. E. Brown)
  4. George MacDonald: An Anthology (comp. C. S. Lewis)
  5. Beautiful Thoughts from George MacDonald (comp. Elizabeth Dougall)
  6. Knowing the Heart of God (comp. Michael Phillips)
  7. Discovering the Character of God (comp. Michael Phillips)

3 thoughts on “Author Guide: George MacDonald

  1. Pingback: Review: The Diary of an Old Soul | Pioneer Library

  2. Pingback: Free George MacDonald PDFs | Pioneer Library

  3. Pingback: Review: George MacDonald, Scotland’s Beloved Storyteller | Pioneer Library

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