Latest News & Events

Review of Informing the Inklings

Informing the Inklings book cover

All creative people are inspired by those who preceded them, and in England’s Antiphon (Macmillan, 1868) the writer George MacDonald Review this truth in a choral image, showing writers as singers responding to each other. In acknowledgement of this connection, the George MacDonald Society met in 2014 to examine the debt that the Oxford myth-makers known as the Inklings (an informal group of writers associated with C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien) owed to their predecessors. The selected papers presented in Informing the Inklings (edited by Michael Partridge and Kirstin Jeffrey Johnson) look from MacDonald back to Wordsworth, Coleridge, and others as well as forward, via the Inklings, to Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (Bloomsbury, 2007). They contribute to an understanding of the development of mythopoesis over the last 200 years or so. (click on the link for the full review)

The Princess and the Goblin – Live Play!

Saturday 7th August 2021 5:00PM. Mannington Hall, Norfolk, NR11 7BB. Due to covid restrictions prior booking is essential. Limited tickets available.

Goblin Market Theatre Company are delighted to bring the live theatre version of The Princess and the Goblin  to Norfolk’s Mannington Hall. This is an open air theatre event for families and children – be prepared to be completely enthralled by this world of fantasy and magic! Suitable for family members of all ages. Feel free to bring a picnic, but be careful of the goblins! For more information visit:

Rabbit Room Reading Group: Phantastes by George MacDonald

Phantastes Cover

MacDonald scholar and lecturer Kirstin Jeffery Johnson leads a read-through and discussion of Phantastes, providing context and guidance for navigating an often bewildering but profoundly moving and influential fantasy novel. 

The “live” version of this book group (including the online forum) opens May 24 and will include Zoom chats every Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. CST for five weeks. However, you are welcome to join at any time, even after the live chats have ended. The discussions will be archived, and the forum will be open indefinitely for new registrants to continue reading and discussing the book.

Malcom Guite & Brenton Dickieson – “Inklings of Imagination”


Correction: The poster does not take into account the advent of British Summer Time. This event starts at 5pm UK (Noon EST, 9am PT). It will also be recorded.

On 23rd April 2021 at 7 pm Eastern European Summer Time (5pm British Summer Time/ Noon US Eastern Time) ‘Inklings & Kindreds’ scholar Kirstin Jeffrey Johnson will host these two delightful raconteurs in an exploration of the value of imaginative literature generally, and why the work of ‘C.S. Lewis & Kindred Spirits’ specifically is significant for the world today. As highly regarded scholars for their work, these consummate teachers are equally admired amongst peers and students for their deep love of and playful enthusiasm for that material. For them it is not stuffy scholasticism, rather, it is the Stuff of Life.

You can register here:

More information can be found here

Through the Looking Glass Sesquicentenary Conference

Alice through the Looking Glass

This online conference will take place, 4-5th November 2021 on the occasion of the sesquicentenary (150th anniversary) of the publication of Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass. Hosted by the University of York, all talks and associated events will be held fully online. Contributions will be a mixture of traditional academic papers and alternative formats and submissions are invited from all fields of study and practice, including (but not limited to) the arts, sciences, scholars of children’s literature, science historians, and also practitioners. There is scope for submissions from George MacDonald scholars for example on his use of mirrors, his literature, science and theological writings, and the organisers would be keen to include something like that in the programme. The website and call for papers are now live and can be viewed at:

Open Table Conference – Unspoken Sermons

I’d recommend you take the time to listen to the full 40 minutes. It is a taster that will give you an idea of what the two sets of eight week sessions on the Unspoken Sermons will be like. Three friends chatting by Zoom, reflecting on the impact of another dearly loved friend in their lives. One throw away comment really struck home for me, that in the Unspoken Sermons George MacDonald “is moving us along spiritually, not theologically.” Faith is the process of our coming into alignment with what is real and true (God’s love, however, we imagine it). It is a journey into completion and away from our false selves. It is good to be reminded that a disciple is a learner, therefore we don’t have to have all the answers at the outset.

GMS Update

I am very pleased to announce that Malcolm Guite, who many of you will know, has agreed to become the George MacDonald Society’s President (his latest “Spell in the Library” can be found at We have also broadened the GMS board and the Officers of the Society are now:

  • President: Malcom Guite
  • Co-chairpersons: Kirstin Jeffrey Johnson, Mike Partridge
  • Treasurer/ Membership Secretary: Mike Partridge (Acting)
  • Correspondence Secretary/ Orts Editor: Donna Whatmough-Triggs
  • North Wind Editor: John Pennington
  • Academic Representative: Daniel Gabelman
  • Society Historians: Rachel Johnson, John McNeill
  • Web Master: Mike Partridge
  • North American Representative: Bonnie Gaarden
  • Central & Eastern European Representative: Denise Vasiliu
  • Committee Members: John Flynn, Jess Lederman, Robert Trexler

If nothing else, the last twelve months have shown us that, while it is great to meet in person, much can also be achieved online to connect folks with shared interests, who are geographically (or for other reasons) separated. This is especially the case with an international Society like ours. Going forward we see the Society focussing on four main areas relating to the interest in George MacDonald: Academic, Popular, The Arts, and Theology. Already there are some exciting ideas being considered, which will have implications both for our visibility and online engagement with the membership. It is early days and conversations are still taking place, but watch this space! We are always open to ideas and if you have any suggestions or skills that would benefit the Society, then please do contact one of the above. We would love to hear from you.