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MacDonald, Greville Matheson (1856-1944) | Archival Collections at Wheaton College

Name: MacDonald, Greville Matheson (1856-1944)

Historical Note:

Greville MacDonald was born in Manchester, England on January 20, 1856, the eldest son of Victorian novelist George MacDonald and his wife Lousia Powell MacDonald. When he was young, his parents invited many of the most significant creative persons of the day to their home, including Matthew Arnold, Alfred Lord Tennyson, and John Ruskin. The eleven MacDonald children especially enjoyed the company of Lewis Carroll (or “Uncle Dodgson”), and were the very first audience for his book Alice in Wonderland when the author was deciding to submit it for publication.

Instead of following his father in making a writing career, Greville decided to become a medical doctor. During his school years he distinguished himself at King’s College school and Hospital. As a professional, Dr. MacDonald was a throat specialist, and later became President of the throat section of the British Medical Association and a Member of the Royal College of Physicians. However, a persistent deafness forced him to withdraw into retirement in 1904.

After his retirement to Hastlemere, Greville committed the final forty years of his life to republishing many of his father’s books, as well as writing a few of his own, including a meticulous biography of his parents titled George MacDonald and his Wife that appeared at the George MacDonald Centenary Celebration in 1924. He had a house built for his father in Hastlemere by his architect brother, Robert Falconer MacDonald, where George MacDonald lived out his last years, and died in 1905. Greville himself passed away at Hastlemere on November 3, 1944.

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