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Alec Forbes of Howglen   By: (1824-1905)

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Alec Forbes of Howglen is a captivating novel written by the renowned author George MacDonald. Set against the backdrop of the Scottish countryside, this story takes readers on a heartfelt journey through the life of the titular character, Alec Forbes.

The book opens with Alec as a young boy, full of curiosity and a thirst for adventure. MacDonald beautifully captures the innocence and wonder of childhood, allowing readers to immerse themselves in Alec's world. Through vivid descriptions, the author paints a vivid picture of the lush landscapes surrounding Howglen, instantly transporting readers to another time and place.

As the story progresses, we witness Alec's growth and development, both physically and spiritually. MacDonald delves into the complexities of human nature, exploring themes of love, faith, and redemption. With his elegant prose, the author seamlessly weaves together a tale that is as thought-provoking as it is engaging.

One of the novel's greatest strengths lies in its well-drawn characters. Alec's journey is intertwined with a multitude of intriguing individuals, each with their own distinct personalities and ambitions. From the stoic Reverend Walter and the enigmatic Elsie Duff to the charming Allan Grant and the feisty Annie Anderson, MacDonald has created a rich tapestry of characters that add depth and richness to the narrative.

Moreover, Alec Forbes of Howglen is not simply a story of personal growth; it is also a commentary on society and its flaws. Through his protagonist, MacDonald critiques the destructive nature of societal expectations and the superficialities that often govern human interactions. The author's social commentary adds depth and relevance to the novel, making it an even more compelling read.

MacDonald's prose is a delight to read, filled with poetic descriptions and profound insights. There is a simplicity and elegance to his writing style that draws readers in and keeps them enthralled until the very last page. The author's commitment to exploring the complexities of the human spirit shines through, making Alec Forbes of Howglen a truly memorable read.

In conclusion, Alec Forbes of Howglen is a masterfully crafted novel that combines elements of adventure, coming-of-age, and social critique. George MacDonald's exquisite storytelling and insightful observations make this book a standout in the realm of classic literature. Whether you are a fan of Scottish literature, a seeker of thought-provoking narratives, or simply looking for an enchanting tale, this book is sure to captivate and inspire.

First Page:

[Note from the transcriber: I have compiled a glossary with definitions of most of the Scottish words found in this work and placed it at the end of this electronic text. This glossary does not belong to the original work, but is designed to help with the conversations and references in Broad Scots found in this work. A further explanation of this list can be found towards the end of this document, preceding the glossary.]





c. 1900


The farm yard was full of the light of a summer noontide. Nothing can be so desolately dreary as full strong sunlight can be. Not a living creature was to be seen in all the square inclosure, though cow houses and stables formed the greater part of it, and one end was occupied by a dwelling house. Away through the gate at the other end, far off in fenced fields, might be seen the dark forms of cattle; and on a road, at no great distance, a cart crawled along, drawn by one sleepy horse. An occasional weary low came from some imprisoned cow or animal of the cow kind; but not even a cat crossed the yard. The door of the barn was open, showing a polished floor, as empty, bright, and clean as that of a ball room. And through the opposite door shone the last year's ricks of corn, golden in the sun... Continue reading book >>

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