Jeanne Laffin: A Close Friend

I am not sure how I first discovered George MacDonald; yet I feel like I have always known him, because my grandfather is also a Scotsman. Strange as it may seem to most--though I doubt George would find it strange--when I first read At the Back of the North Wind, I could smell my grandfather's cherry pipe tobacco, though I was in a bookstore where smoking was not allowed. 

I found a copy of Robert Falconer at a used bookstore in the back woods of Maine for $1.75 in the 1980's before he was widely popular, and went home to read it, dialect and all. and understood it perfectly though I don't remember ever being exposed to that Scottish brogue except for when my grandfather would sometimes call me his wee bairn.

My next discovery was an old copy of Sir Gibbie, which became one of my favorites. All of the children's books Photogen and Nycteris, The Light Princess, The Princess and Curdie, and The Princess and the Goblin were read aloud to my children. I think of George MacDonald and his wonderful books as though he were a close friend -or my grandfather-or a close friend of my grandfathers!

I am delighted that so many people are still enjoying his books and that there is a resurgence of publishing some of his forgotten works.