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The Vicar's Daughter

George MacDonald

Book Overview: 

This is the third book of the 'Marshmallow' trilogy. It is a fictional autobiography written by Ethelwyn Percivale, or 'Wynnie'. Her father is a clergyman, Mr. Walton, whose history has already been told in "A Quiet Neighborhood", the first of the three books. Wynnie has a happy childhood and falls in love with a struggling artist. It is about Wynnie and her family, and her little circle of old and new friends. We learn much about the poor of society of that time. This book is set in the real, every-day world, and our narrator is serious when she calls her life ''quiet and ordinary''. Though there are some exciting incidents, visits made, and long conversations about God. This book is a delightful read.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .A happier little party—well, of course, I saw it all through the rose-mists of my motherhood, but I am nevertheless bold to assert that my husband was happy, and that my mother was happy; and if there was one more guest at the table concerning whom I am not prepared to assert that he was happy, I can confidently affirm that he was merry and gracious and talkative, originating three parts of the laughter of the evening. To watch him with the baby was a pleasure even to the heart of a mother, anxious as she must be when any one, especially a gentleman, more especially a bachelor, and most especially a young bachelor, takes her precious little wax-doll in his arms, and pretends to know all about the management of such. It was he indeed who introduced her to the dining-room; for, leaving the table during dessert, he returned bearing her in his arms, to my astonishment, and even mild maternal indignation at the liberty. Resuming his seat, and pouring out for his charge, . . . Read More

Community Reviews

I first read this book about 10 years ago. The Micheal Phillips edited version. I just completed the unedited McDonald original today . . . and would probably downgrade my earlier 4.stars rating to 3 stars due to the lengthy tangents and detours taken by McDonald in his original rendition. There was

I read the Dan Hamilton edited version. This was more like a series of vignettes introducing characters and short subplots than the other MacDonald novels I’ve read. I read somewhere that this had been originally published as a serial, so that would explain it.

My favorite of the trilogy. The voices are those of laymen rather than a preacher and therefore have a different impact than the first two books, which I found challenging and inspiring.

This book gives more than a glimpse into George MacDonald's unusual theological perspective. It shines through in all of his works of fiction, but I love the way in which the quiet pace of this novel lets you ruminate on MacDonald's singular doctrinal gems scattered, in the form of the musings of Et

A non-traditional narrative composed of a non-linear series of vignettes from the perspective of a pastor's daughter, recently-married to an artist in London. The most interesting parts of the novel paint a portrait of another young woman who she meets and befriends, living life fully and beautifull

A fictional autobiography written by Wynnie, whose father is a gentle, intelligent clergyman. Wynnie has a happy childhood and falls in love with a struggling artist.

The book is a series of anecdotes, involving both Wynnie and her family and also her increasing circle of friends. We learn a great d

I enjoyed many things about this novel, including some of MacDonald's theological outpourings. But it changed from the story of a Victorian family to a theological and social discourse about half way through, and while I found that interesting, it was like buying a cat and getting a dog. Still, for

The fictional memoirs of Ethelwyn Percivale, daughter of a wise vicar and wife of a struggling painter, written in order to fulfill an obligation her father owes to a publisher, modest and gentle in tone and ambition, 'made up of pieces only of a quiet and ordinary life'.

Before I read it I was aware

I always enjoy GM's characters though often times his heroes/heroines are too good to be realistic. Theological musings and all, I enjoyed this story. Maybe not as much as some of his others but I appreciated his treatment of faith, the poor and marriage. A good read.

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