George MacDonald was a Victorian Scottish writer chiefly known for his fantasy works, which were read by such authors as GK Chesterton, JRR Tolkien, and CS Lewis. They include At the Back of the North Wind, Lilith, Phantastes, The Princess and the Goblin, The Princess and Curdie, and The Light Princess. He also wrote a fair number of non-fantasy works, primarily concerned with romance, suffering and adventure in the Highlands, which are generally passed over for some reason.
He is not George Macdonald Fraser.
Works by George MacDonald with their own trope pages include:
His other works provide examples of:
- An Aesop
- Bittersweet Ending:
- Bonnie Scotland: The setting of many of MacDonald's non-fantasy novels, as well as the homeland of the author himself.
- Children Are Innocent
- Cool Old Lady: Fairy grandmothers often appear, and are always awesome.
- Dead Guy, Junior
- Determinator: Many of his child characters, especially the virtuous ones. Occasionally crosses over into Badass Adorable.
- Died Happily Ever After
- Died in Your Arms Tonight: Cosmo von Wehrstahl dies in the arms of the Princess von Honenweiess he has released from the mirror she has been enchanted in, but she finds him too late and cradles him as he dies in her arms in one of the stories in Phantastes.
- In Lilith, Lona dies in her true love's Vane's arms after she's killed by her mother, Lilith.
- Everything's Better with Princesses
- Everything's Better with Rainbows: In The Golden Key
- Evil Is Deathly Cold: At first it seems to be played straight, but is ultimately subverted in Lilith.
- Fairy Tale Motifs
- First-Name Basis
- Funetik Aksent: Just in case you ever forgot you were in Scotland.
- Good Is Not Nice: Many of the good characters in Lilith, but especially Mara.
- Held Gaze: The supernatural variant of the trope, in which case it fills the two gazers with such longing that they are so consumed with love that they depart from each other and die, being reborn as children.
- The Hero Dies
- Heroic Sacrifice: In Phantastes, a heartrending tale is related by the narrator about a man named Cosmo, who loves a princess imprisoned in a mirror, and to release her from her thrall, he shatters the mirror, but it ends up killing him, and he dies in the princess' arms.
- I Gave My Word
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: The final conclusion Anodos comes to in Fairyland.
- James Bondage
- Library of Babel: Mentioned in Phantastes, Lilith, Alec Forbes... This is a recurring image throughout MacDonald's fiction, probably due to a year MacDonald spent as a youth cataloging books in a large house in Scotland.
- Littlest Cancer Patient: They appear with some regularity in his non-fantasy works, dying of Victorian Novel Disease rather than cancer.
- Living Shadow
- Love Redeems: A major concept in (arguably) all of MacDonald's work.
- My Greatest Failure: In Phantastes, the knight in rusty armor atones for being taken in by the Alder-Tree by combating evildoers until every speck of rust is scraped off.
- Offing the Offspring: Lilith in Lilith.
- Our Goblins Are Different
- The Power of Love
- The Promise
- Purple Prose: The prose in Phantastes is quite often ornate, but it doesn't detract from the pleasure derived from the perusal of the novel.
- Shadow Archetype: Appropriately enough, the Shadow in Phantastes is this to the protagonist.
- The Speechless: Wee Sir Gibbie in... Sir Gibbie.
- Too Good for This Sinful Earth
- The Vamp: Lilith in her eponymous novel, and the Maiden of the Alder-Tree in Phantastes.
- What Could Have Been: MacDonald once proposed to an American literary friend that they should collaborate on a novel in order to secure copyright on both sides of the Atlantic. The friend's name? Mark Twain. Unfortunately the project never transpired. However, scholars have pointed out some similarities between MacDonald's Sir Gibbie and Twain's Huckleberry Finn, suggesting that perhaps they discussed such a story together. 
- Writer on Board
George MacDonald in fiction:
- CS Lewis was particularly moved after reading Phantastes, and much of Lewis' writing reflect the themes that MacDonald used. Accordingly, Lewis uses MacDonald as a guiding character - much like Dante used Virgil in The Divine Comedy - in The Great Divorce.