I’ve had Sir Gibbie by George Macdonald on my TBR (to be read) pile for about a year now. The ladies on the AO forum put it in the discussion queue quite a while ago now, so in anticipation, I went through an insane amount of effort trying to find a print edition that wasn’t print on demand (because sadly those tend to only be good as kindling for your Christmas fire) or severely abridged, edited, or whatnot. This tale seems to be particularly plagued by helpful souls who want to do plastic surgery with it, due to a fair amount of Scottish brogue as well as religious content. The ideal “chopped” version would be simply one that merely tried to make the Scottish dialogue easier to read, but alas, such an abridgment does not yet exist.
I did find a few unchopped versions, such as this one, a reprint by Johannesen Printing (affiliate link!), but it took a lot of sorting through editions to finally find one. But none are currently in print, and so they can expensive. Darn.
But guys, it was totally worth all the effort to find an original, unabridged text. I’m only on page 21, and I can tell it was worth it—George Macdonald’s prose is delightful. And to think I was suspicious that I wouldn’t have time to read this with everyone else during the AO discussion. Hah! Mama has to make time for this one.
Here’s a little sampling of what I wrote in my commonplace notebook from chapter 2.
…it is wonderful upon how little those rare natures capable of making the most of things will live and thrive. There is a great deal more to be got out of things than is generally got out of them, whether the thing be a chapter of the Bible or a yellow turnip, and the marvel is that those who use the most material should so often be those that show the least result in strength or character.
It’s time for bed, and I know what I’ll be thinking upon.