George MacDonald’s Scotland

Franziska Kohlt

While almost everybody on the academic home shores of Oxford was following the Summer VIIIs last week , I ventured to far-away Scotland to retrace the footsteps of Aberdeenshire author George MacDonald (1824-1905), subject of my current thesis chapter.

Huntly, Aberdeenshire

George MacDonald's birth place George MacDonald’s birth place

I began my journey in Huntly, the birth place of the author, which seems very quietly, but charmingly haunted by the presence of the author. While a small almost unnoticeable plaque over the bright sign of a dental practice points out the place of the author’s birth, no statue commemorates the town’s son. However, it is his words that greet the visitor – “Welcome to Huntly – Room to Roam” – a quote from his first major work of literary fantasy, Phantastes (1858), which, many argued crucially influenced his close friend Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland  (1865) (some are sceptical, but both dreamers definitely follow a…

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