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@ElizaBTweetin: February 21, 1873: Robert Falconer

Posted on February 11, 2014

Eliza B. Wheaton's Diary, 21-26 February 1873

Eliza B. Wheaton's Diary, 21-26 February 1873

On this date, Mrs. Wheaton notes, “We finished reading Robert Falconer” by George MacDonald. Eliza, Mrs. Beane, and other visitors probably enjoyed reading the book aloud, although it is well over 500 pages long and large sections are written in Scottish brogue.

Originally published in 1868, this book was tremendously popular between 1870 and 1890, being serialized in magazines and published in many editions. Its autobiographical story of a young man’s thoughtful quest for a loving God and the meaning of life would have appealed to Mrs. Wheaton’s own strong belief that true happiness could be found only through service to others and devotion to God.

The Angel Unawares, frontis of 4th ed. of Robert Falconer

The Angel Unawares, frontis of 4th ed. of Robert Falconer

George MacDonald (1824 – 1905) was a Scottish author, poet, and Christian minister. A pioneer in the field of fantasy literature (among other titles, he wrote Princess and the Goblin and At the Back of the North Wind), he mentored Lewis Carroll and inspired C.S. Lewis. It was MacDonald's advice, and the enthusiasm of his many children, that convinced Carroll to submit Alice In Wonderland for publication.

Should you wish to read Robert Falconer, you will find an 1876 edition in the Wallace Library stacks (PR 4967.R6). It has been in our collection since Wheaton Seminary days, bearing its ownership stamp on the title page. Perhaps Eliza suggested the purchase!

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