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AT THE BACK OF THE NORTH WIND (Barbour Christian Classics) [Paperback]

Our Price $ 4.22  
Retail Value $ 4.97  
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Item Number 40795  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   320
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.9" Width: 5.2" Height: 0.9"
Weight:   0.25 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 28, 2005
Publisher   Barbour Publishing Company
ISBN  1593106815  
EAN  9781593106812  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
More than a century after it was written, George MacDonald's At the Back of the North Wind continues to intrigue readers with its allegorical treatment of life and death. The story of the young boy Diamond who meets the mysterious and beautiful North Wind explores, in the words of one reviewer, ""the possibility of trusting cooperation with this awesome but benevolent force."" The great Christian writer C. S. Lewis, working a generation later, called MacDonald ""the greatest genius of his kind."" Find out for yourself what so impressed Lewis and countless readers over the last 130 years!

Book Description
More than a century after it was written, MacDonald's classic allegory of life and death continues to intrigue readers with the story of a young boy who meets the mysterious and beautiful North Wind.

Buy AT THE BACK OF THE NORTH WIND (Barbour Christian Classics) by GEORGE MACDONALD from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781593106812 & 1593106815

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George MacDonald George Macdonald was born at Huntly, in the western part of Aberdeenshire on 10 December, 1824, the son of George Macdonald, farmer, and Helen MacKay. He was educated in country schools where Gaelic myths and Old Testament stories abounded. He then went on to Aberdeen University in the early 1840's obtaining awards in Moral Philosophy and Sciences. Next he studied for the Congregationalist ministry at Highbury College, London.

In 1850 he was made pastor at Arundel, West Sussex, England. MacDonald resigned however after three years of not living up to the congregational authorities’ expectations for more dogmatic sermons and being accused of heresy. Rejecting his Calvinist upbringing and doctrine of predestination, he came to believe in the divine presence but not divine providence and felt that everyone was capable of redemption.

George MacDonald married Louisa Powell in 1851 and they had six sons and five daughters together. One of their sons, Greville Macdonald would later become a writer himself and author a biography of his father. After a stay in Algiers to gain his health back MacDonald returned to England to tutor and write to provide for his ever-growing family and preach freelance when time permitted. Despite his successful career as a published writer he was continually forced to rely on the charity of his friends. Lady Byron was one such patron who assisted him until her death in 1860 as well as John Ruskin. MacDonald was mentor to C.S. Lewis; formed a strong friendship with Mark Twain after a tumultuous start and G. K. Chesterton, Henry Longfellow, and Walt Whitman were also counted among his friends. Some of his early poetry was Within and Without (1855) and Poems (1857), however his first real successes came with his Scottish country life stories such as David Elginbrod (1862), Alec Forbes (1865) and Robert Falconer (1868).

The 1870s brought an invitation for MacDonald to tour and lecture in America. He was well-received by huge audiences and by writers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson. A well-paid ministerial position was offered him but he chose to return to England. In 1877 he was pensioned at the request of Queen Victoria. The ill health that had plagued MacDonald the greater part of his life forced him to seek the warmer climates of Europe. One of his daughters was taken to Italy for a cure in 1877 though she ended up dying. However Macdonald found the climate of such benefit to his own maladies that he spent most of the years from 1881 to 1902 in Bordighera, Italy, "Heaven of the English" in his house "Casa Coraggio." His wife was the organist of the Catholic church there and they often held concerts and amateur plays in their home socializing and having a merry time. Titles published around this time were Sir Gibbie (1879), Donal Grant (1883), and the moral allegories Lilith (1895) and Robert Falconer (1868) show MacDonald's early distaste for the limiting Calvinist God's electing to love some and denying it to others.

Louisa Powell died one year after her and George's golden wedding anniversary, in 1902. George Macdonald, after a long illness, died at Ashstead, Surrey, England on 18 September, 1905. His remains were cremated and they were taken to his beloved Bordighera for interment alongside his wife. A memorial to George MacDonald has been erected in the Drumblade Churchyard, Aberdeenshire.

In his George MacDonald: An Anthology (1947) C. S. Lewis states that while reading a copy of MacDonald's Phantastes (1858) "a few hours later," through inspiration of the gentle Christian's words "I knew I had crossed a great frontier.".... "I know hardly any other writer who seems closer, or more continually close, to the Spirit of Christ himself." W.H. Auden and J. R. R. Tolkien also admired his efforts. Phantastes was to become a definitive work of MacDonald's career. Through his writing, peppered with the Doric Dialect, he asserted that there was a God and art and the expression of creativity of spirit brought one closer to Him. Other successful titles were At the Back of the North Wind (1871), The Princess and the Goblin (published sometime in the 1880s) and it's sequel The Princess and Curdie (1883). The Diary of an Old Soul first published posthumously in 1965 strikes a deeper note of thoughtfulness where MacDonald offers a prayer for each day of the year.

George MacDonald was born in 1824 and died in 1905.

George MacDonald has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Gospel in Great Writers

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1Books > Subjects > Children's Books > Authors & Illustrators, A-Z > ( M ) > MacDonald, George   [88  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
So Creative  Nov 23, 2008
One of my personal favorites - leads to sweet dreams! Good one for reading aloud to your kids!
Beautifully written  Nov 23, 2008
I found this book--correction: This book found me--shortly after my father's death. I was nine years old. What I needed then were books that would comfort as they took me to another place, a place where people lived surrounded with tenderness and loving kindness. If you are looking for books to read aloud with your children, I strongly recommend this one plus The Princess and Curdie and The Princess and the Goblin. These brilliantly written yet simple tales combine fantasy with spiritual issues... opening the door for many great discussions. I still love them today....
Yes, I am biased.  Jun 21, 2008
I'll start out by saying first and foremost, this is one of my favorite books. But let me also add that I love it, not ignoring its flaws, but regardless of them. And it does have flaws.
I have read that the lead character Diamond is unbelieveable, especially after the main turning point of the story. That's okay. He's supposed to be. Without giving away too much plot, Diamond coming back from the back of the north wind is almost akin to Paul being called up to heaven, they were both changed, and for similar reasons. Aside from that, he is no more unbelieveable than Dickens's Oliver Twist or Paul Dombey. Paul Dombey being a much better comparision, as I must think MacDonald based Diamond upon him somewhat.
Speaking of Dickens, some critics have complained that MacDonald tricks the reader by making half of the novel a fantasy but then switches abruptly to a Dickensian type social commentary. Once the family moves to London, he seems much more concerned with the ills of that place than with the earlier fantasy. I can't argue with that. It does happen. After the main turning point, the North Wind makes very little appearance until the end. I think this is a very important part of the book, and while the fanicful moments seem to be where MacDonald excelled, the latter half of the novel is not lacking in greatness, as it maintains a fantasic aspect, though not the same one of as the first half. That being said, it should be known that I ademently love Charles Dickens. If you don't care for his works you may want to reconsider this novel, as I think it is laced with many Dickensian elements--a "problem" not usually seen in a MacDonald novel.
Also, I have heard this book attacked because, as a children's book, it is hard for children to grasp the meaning of it. I think it's a weak attack and better men than me have put up better defenses. MacDonald himself, for one. "Your children are not likely to trouble you about the meaning. They find what they are capable of finding, and more would be too much." That being said, it is a religious story, though not out-right and not allogorical either. It can be ignored or embraced, dependant on your views.
Now that I've addressed those main attacks, I'll go back to those flaws I mentioned. Like every book I've read by MacDonald, there are lulls. They are much more sparse than in his other novels, however, and easily gotten through. They should hardly be a main concern.
His writing style is not perfect either, though it is hardly bad. It's just "less good." But the story will make you overlook some of his less than wonderful moments.
The ending of the story is another flaw, in my opinion. Not that I feel the ending should've been changed, but I would've prefered it to be better kept from the reader. That did not take away from the power of it, but I did see it coming about half-way through. But maybe I'm just expecting too much.
Despite those three complaints of mine, At the Back of the North Wind is one of the best "children's stories" ever written. It is very much akin to J. M. Barrie's Peter and Wendy: fanciful and entertaining. Going back to that Dickensian influence, it is also moralistic, though not preachy or stern. . .too often.
This is a beautful allegory of a frail young boy's near death experience as he struggles with illness, told in a way children can understand and not fear, and of his eventual death, as he is taken home to heaven. It is bittersweet, but it really gives children (and adults) a good perspective on the Christian view of life, death, and what happens after death. Note, it is written by C.S. Lewis's favorite author, and I highly recommend it for ages 10 to adult.
BUY IT BUY IT BUY IT!!!!!!!  Nov 11, 2007
BUY IT you will love it if you have a kid that likes fiction books or you like them yourself you will love it. it does not have a boring part in it the whole thing is so magical and the writer knows his cliff hangers no wonder he inspired C.S. Lewis [who is also one of my favorite writers] and it is a three hundred and seventeen page book that you wish would never end it is probably one of the best books I have ever read and you probably will trust me i really really like this book and you just read read read and LIKE IT!!! buy it trust me.

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