Friday, February 22, 2008

New George MacDonald Titles

Those interested in reading the souls of others, and especially those interested in how others travel through the tragedies of their lives, will be interested in reading this new edition of George MacDonald's work, along side a new (or perhaps just new to me) poet, Betty Aberlin.

The two poets, one long dead, and one very much alive, dance side by side in a sort of duet, singing different passages of each other's song.

Betty has put in much work to respond to George's poetry. It is not easy to write this kind of poetry today, nor to try to respond to another's sorrow and rhyme. But it works, and I believe anyone interested in poetry will be fascinated by Betty's responding song, echoing George's heartfelt longings.

In some ways, I believe it would be nice to have left a third page free, so that the reader could add another voice, and make the work a trio. But, by entering into the poem, simply by reading it, the reader does enter in, and become a part of that dialog.

Recommended for poets and George MacDonald fans.
George MacDonald may have died 103 years ago (1905), but his legacy lives on. Those who love his work and those who study his work apparently had a rare meeting at the 100th anniversary of his death in 2005. The outgrowth of this meeting was the enlivening of minds towards the works of this great writer.

The essays contained in this collection analyze MacDonald's writing from many points of view. His literary past is discussed and how his own work built upon his predecessors. His literary present is discussed, as to how his work was viewed amongst his contemporaries; and his literary future is discussed in the context of his continuing influence on today's writers.

To appreciate this work, one should be a MacDonald scholar, or interested in becoming a MacDonald scholar. This is not a work for the general public. However, it will serve its purpose and has its place. And if it can revive interest in MacDonald's work, it is well worth it.

Both books reviewed by: Nancy Carpentier Brown


  1. Found this link, with a blog comment from Betty Aberlin herself, while googling around. Background here. She mentions her book while reminiscing about the Mr. Rogers show. Nice!

  2. Oops, my first comment didn't make it through, I guess. I'd mentioned that Betty Aberlin played Lady Aberlin on Mr. Roger's Neighborhood! Now the links in the comment above will make more sense. :-)

  3. Oh my goodness! I guess if I would have spent a little time internet sleuthing, I would have discovered this, but I was thinking of Betty Aberlin as a "poet" not as an "actor".

    My goodness, being the picky homeschooling mother that I was/am, Mr. Rogers was the only show I would let my children watch. We all love Lady Aberlin and her characters on Mr. Rogers! I can't believe this is the same person, and yet, why not?

    Reading the poetry now knowing that it is her seems to me to make a difference. A good difference. And Betty being connected to George now shows me what I always believed about her, that I would like her as a person, because we both like the same author.

    Amazing. Small world. Coolio. As my daughter would say.


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