George MacDonald: Christian History Timeline

DECEMBER 10, 1824 Born in Huntly, Aberdeenshire,

1826 Family moves to the Farm, Huntly

1832 Death of MacDonald’s mother, Helen MacKay MacDonald

1840 Enters King’s College, Aberdeen

1848 Attends Highbury Theological College, London; proposes to Louisa Powell

1850 Accepts pastorate at Trinity Congregational Church in Arundel, Sussex

1851 Marries Louisa Powell; ordained to Congregational ministry

1852 Birth of first child, Lilia Scott; congregation reduces his salary

1853 Resigns pastorate at Arundel; the family moves to Manchester

1855 Publishes Within and Without: A Dramatic Poem

1856 Lady Byron becomes MacDonald’s patron; the family vacations in Algiers

1857 Moves to Huntly Cottage, Hastings

1858 Publishes Phantastes; death of father

1859 Accepts professorship of English literature at Bedford College, London

1863 Publishes David Elginbrod

1865 Begins lecturing at King’s College, London

1866 Becomes a member of the Church of England at the Chapel of St. Peter’s, Vere Street, where F. D. Maurice is rector

1867 George MacKay, last of II children, is born; the family moves to the Retreat, Upper Mall, Hammersmith; publishes first of three volumes of Unspoken Sermons

1868 Becomes involved with the housing projects sponsored by John Ruskin and Octavia Hill; publishes Robert Falconer

1869 Becomes editor of Good Words for the Young

1871 Publishes At the Back of the North Wind

1872 George, Louisa, and their son Greville MacDonald go on a lecture tour of America; publishes The Princess and the Goblin

1875 Family leaves the Retreat

1877 Louisa organizes the first family performance of The Pilgrim’s Progress, with Princess Louise in attendance; Queen Victoria awards MacDonald a Civil Lists Pension

1878 Death of daughter Mary

1879 Publishes Sir Gibbie; death of son Maurice

1880 Family settles in Bordighera, Italy; publishes A Book of Strife in the Form of a Diary of an Old Soul

1882 Publishes The Princess and Curdle and The Gifts of the Christ Child

1884 Death of daughter Grace

1895 Publishes Lilith

1891 Death of daughter Lilia

1893 Publishes A Dish of Orts

1901 Louisa and George celebrate their golden wedding anniversary on June 8

1902 Death of Louisa in Bordighera

1905 Dies on September 18 at Ashtead in Surrey; his ashes are buried in Louisa’s grave in Bordighera

His TIMES

1825 S. T. Coleridge, Aids to Reflection

1837 Victoria ascends the throne

1837–38 Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist

1838 F. D. Maurice, The Kingdom of Christ

1846 Mary Ann Evans (George Eliot) publishes English translation of D. F. Strauss’s The Life of Jesus Critically Examined

1850s AND 60s Height of evangelical influence in England

1850 Death of William Wordsworth

1854 Inauguration of the London Working Men’s College, with Maurice as first principal

1853–56 Crimean War

1859 Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species

1862 J. W. Colenso, The Pentoteuch and the Book of Joshua Critically Examined

1865 Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

1869–70 First Vatican Council

1870 Universal elementary education introduced in England and Wales

1870s Beginning of the Keswick conferences to promote holiness

1874 G. K. Chesterton is born

1876 Alexander Graham Bell invents the telephone

1878 William and Catherine Booth found the Salvation Army

1881 Cambridge University exams open to women

1884 Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn

1888 Mrs. Humphry Ward, Robert Elsmere

1892 Soon after the death of Baptist preacher C. H. Spurgeon, the Bible League is formed

1894 Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Book

1899–1902 Boer War

1901 Death of Queen Victoria

By the editors

[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue #86 in 2005]

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