Docherty, John Books

Literary Products of the Lewis Carroll-George Macdonald Friendship Revised Second Edition
1997 0-7734-9038-8
This revised volume is the most extensive and wide-ranging study get published of MacDonald's two great mythopoeic romances, Phantastes and Lilith. It is similarly the most extensive and wide-ranging yet published on Carroll's Alice books. The most important aspects of the study are the demonstration that Wonderland is an exploration by Alice of the different regions of her soul (a traditional Imitation of Christ drawing equally on Dante's Inferno and Spenser's House of Alma in The Fairie Queen); and the demonstration that in Looking-Glass Alice explores the three principal regions of the adult world - the religious, economic, and political, in the course of an imaginative, doubly spiraling journey through Oxford. This revision of the 1995 publication has affected most of the book. The chapter on Lilith has been completely re-written, with the incommensurable nature of Lilith demonstrated for the first time, along with the extent of MacDonald's debt to Wm Blake, Goethe, and Schlegel. The extent to which Lilith is addressed to the 'one reader', Lewis Carroll, is now seen to be vastly greater than was realized in the first edition. The chapter on Carroll's Sylvie and Bruno has been rewritten to emphasize its nature as imaginative biography - of Carroll's relationship, over many years, with MacDonald. Its framework is now shown to be a parody of MacDonald's Adela Cathcart. That work demonstrates the therapeutic value of fairy tales, and the Sylvie and Bruno books portray MacDonald's escape from the tyranny of textuality.