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Gutta-Percha Willie

George MacDonald

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .A little passing attention, a hint now and then from his head, was sufficient to keep his hands right, for they were so used to their work, and had been so well taught by his head, that they could pretty nearly have made a pair of shoes of themselves; so that the shoemaking trade is one that admits of a great deal of thought going on in the head that hangs over the work, like a sun over the earth ripening its harvest. Shoemakers have distinguished themselves both in poetry and in prose; and if Hector Macallaster had done so in neither, he could yet think, and that is what some people who write both poetry and prose cannot do. But it is of infinitely more importance to be able to think well than merely to write ever so well; and, besides, to think well is what everybody ought to be or to become able to do.

Hector had odd ways of looking at things, but I need not say more about that, for it will soon be plain enough. Ever since the illness from which he had risen wit. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I was missing the heart to be found in a George MacDonald novel so continued my progress through his complete works with this selection. Willie was, in the tradition of many of MacDonald’s protagonists, of admirable character and as a young boy set himself firm on the path of devoting his life to wo

George MacDonald creates here an ideal boy in an ideal (though far from perfect) world. Some of the narrative is, obviously, unrealistic. Sometimes very much so. This was not listed as one of his fantasies, but it resembled one. I treasure George MacDonald, and hate that I have to be critical here,

Made me appreciate and love work.