“Brilliant Beards” will be a series of posts where I share pictures and a few brief thoughts on people I admire/respect who just so happen to have awesome, or “brilliant,” beards.
Brilliant Beard #1: George MacDonald (1824-1905)
First the pictures. Clearly this guy is awesome!
Honestly, my affinity for G.McD. is fairly recent. Those of you familiar with my other (real) blog will know that I have already posted about (re)discovering his writings (you can check that out by clicking here). I’ve only read 3 of his books (“The Princess and Goblin,” “The Princess and Curdie,” “Lilith,” and I’ve started “Phantastes”) but they’ve all been remarkably profound. Many have made note of how much he influenced C. S. Lewis and by reading even just those 3 books it is amazing to see how much Lewis blatantly ‘stole/borrowed’ from him. For example, one of Lewis’ famous defences of Jesus is known as “Lewis’ Trilemma“: either Jesus was 1) crazy, 2) a liar, or 3) he was exactly who he said he was. This is often summed up as “lunatic, liar, or Lord.” It would appear that even this was “borrowed” from George MacDonald. Observe this exchange from “Lilith” where the protagonist, Mr. Vane, is having difficulty believing what Mr. Raven is trying to teach him:
“You try my power of belief!” I said.
“You take me for a madman, probably?”
“You do not look like one.”
“A liar then?”
“You give me no ground to think you such.”
[MacDonald, George (2010-01-01). The Complete Works of George MacDonald (50+ works with an active table of contents) (Kindle Locations 87163-87168). O’Connor Books. Kindle Edition.]
Anyway, there are many, many things that I could praise MacDonald for but I will keep it simple. He was a profound, eloquent Christian pastor and writer… who clearly had an awesome beard.