Born on December 10, 1824, in Huntley, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, to a farmer and his wife, MacDonald's youth felt the influence of the Congregational Church and its Calvinistic overtones. Growing up and graduating from the University of Aberdeen, MacDonald then attended Highbury College to study for the ministry. However, MacDonald's views didn't match those of his parishioners at the Trinity Congregational Church where MacDonald preached. His sermons espoused his belief that God's love wasn't limited and maybe everyone wasn't doomed or damned. After his pay was halved, MacDonald moved to Manchester to minister until his poor health caused him to relocate to Algiers for a time.
Returning to London, MacDonald taught at the University of London, became an editor, lectured widely, and resorted to publishing his sermons, which achieved more success as written words than as oral lectures given at the pulpit. MacDonald also penned fairy tales and fantasy books, later influencing J.R.R. Tolkien, Madeleine L'Engle, and C.S. Lewis. Those novels of MacDonald's that weren't based on fantasy portrayed a realistic view of Scotland and the Scottish people. A mentor to Lewis Carroll, MacDonald was also friends with John Ruskin and knew most of the successful authors of his day, such as Charles Dickens, Alfred Tennyson, and William Thackeray. Overall, MacDonald left a lasting impression on those around him and on those who have read the wealth of literature he left behind. He passed away on September 18, 1905.
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