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The Baronet's Song
 
by
George MacDonald
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The Baronet's Song (Sir Gibbie #1)

4.25 of 5 stars 4.25  ·  rating details  ·  992 ratings  ·  67 reviews
This is the captivating story of an orphan whose life communicates truth despite his inability to speak, told by the master nineteenth-century Scottish storyteller, George MacDonald.
Published (first published 1879)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,419)
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Chris
MacDonald is my favorite author, and he rarely disappoints. I can be a very critical personality, but MacDonald is the one author I have grown to trust almost implicitly. I always learn from him, and he always refreshes my vision and power to see beauty in the world. He makes me feel like he can actually makes sense of the cosmos, and does a better job than I’ve EVER witnessed of integrating the sorrow and pain of life into a worldview in which life would be less without the presence of sufferin...more
Harman
This book is one of my absolute favorites. Although, I'm ashamed to admit that I found a free version of it online - I'm looking for an antique copy to put on my bookshelf.
The story, simply put, is beautiful. We follow the struggles and lessons of a joyously innocent mute boy through childhood into adulthood and meet the most colorful characters in between - some loathsome and some heartwarmingly precious. I read this over Christmas break during my freshman year in college, and the timing couldn...more
Nathan C.
What can I say? There are bestsellers, and there are good books. This is a good book. And that is one of the greatest understatements I shall ever be guilty of, but I am afraid to praise too much, lest my inadequate praise should bring the book down in anyone's eyes.

If you CAN read MacDonald--if you love truth and beauty enough to hold to them tightly however difficult the going seems at first--if you can can make time for life instead of just living--if you can, do.

And if you want a better revi...more
Elizabeth Kipps
I don't consider sitting down and writing a review of a book that was finished less than half an hour ago the wisest of moves. Almost any work deserves more reflection than that teensy period of time allows, and "Sir Gibbie" certainly does. Here I am, though.

The works of George MacDonald (whether fiction or non) tend to inject life and light directly into my soul whenever I read them. They provide, in my eyes, the most glorious expositions of truth and beauty. In "Sir Gibbie" I found almost mor...more
Karey
I read this book over and over. George MacDonald is one of my favorite writers. The one thing that prevented his writing from being widely distributed is that he wrote in Scottish brogue, so it's incredibly difficult to get through. This edition (given a different title than his origninal title, Sir Gibbie, a 1927 edition on my bookshelf, has been marketed to the young adult audience, but my husband and I both agree it is the best story we have ever read. We read it aloud together four years ago...more
Cheryl in CC NV
I like George MacDonald's more famous juveniles, so when I saw this on the shelf at the library I grabbed it for fear it would get culled if I just added it to my to-read someday shelf. This is the version edited by Elizabeth Yates, with the brogue translated and the focus on Gibbie and his adventures tightened. Still, it was a slog. I suppose a good-hearted Christian would get more out of it than I - but on the other hand I did read it with an open mind and it's still, in my opinion, one of the...more
Michelle
Brilliantly written novel. George MacDonald is such a deep thinker and this novel is a discussion basically of the human heart and it's reaction to Jesus' love. A typical Victorian protagonist, Gibbie, is almost Christ-like in his pure heart, but he provides the visualisation of a pure heart's reaction to Jesus as a comparison with other characters.
The story is very sweet, but satisfying.
The broad Scots language makes those parts of the dialogue quite heavy reading, until I got into the rhythmn...more
Vaughn
It’s for good reason that both C.S. Lewis and JRR Tolkien count George MacDonald as a mentor. Mr. MacDonald is a master storyteller and in this book has recounted the life of wee Sir Gibbie, an orphan who cannot speak and with no advantages (as the world counts them). Gibbie flees the city and is taken in by a simple country family where he finds love, friendship, and God.

Gibbie’s simple faith in God’s Word ignites his love for people and his sacrifice to help all those in need. It’s an inspiri...more
Annette
Compelling. Convicting. Chock full of near-impenetrable Scots dialect! I would not want anyone to abridge this book - having read both the full and abridged version of "The Fisherman's Lady," far too much is lost no matter the good intentions of the abridger. However, if someone could just *translate* it... :}

Anyway, it took me a long time to read, as much because of its convicting qualities as the language: it is not difficult to follow the story or comprehend the characters, merely to Underst...more
Lynn
This is a really excellent book. I read this the week after I had a death in my family and it really gave me a great deal of comfort. I managed to purchase a collector's copy from Britain recently, and it is one of my treasured possessions. You will be truly blessed by this book; it is a classic that is worth its weight in gold!
Sirpa Grierson
Possibly one of my favorite books of all time. Thoughtful, old-fashioned, and at time difficult to read due to the heavy Scottish brogue in the dialogue. Is Gibbie as a character, too good to be true? Of course. But MacDonald uses him to advantage to teach his readers the Christian way of life.
Valorie
One of the sweetest of George's stories. He has the most endearing street urchins, and Sir Gibbie is definately at the top of that list.
Jeff
This is one of my favorites. I have read it twice now and hope to read it again soon.
QueenB18
Aug 09, 2008 QueenB18 rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the world
Recommended to QueenB18 by: read it in class
AMAZING LIFE TOUCHING BOOK!!!!!!!!!
Kevin
what a wonderful story. heart-wrenching in parts but overall uplifting in a way only tragic beginnings can be.

MacDonald seems to have real insight into the beatific state of being in which wee Sir Gibbie lives and informs us with impeccable timing that Gibbie is not to be pitied for he would not understand it from his regard of pure innocence.

"He was not to be pitied. Never in his life had he yet pitied himself. The thought of hardship or wrong had not occurred to him. It would have been difficu...more
Caroline
C.S. Lewis considered George MacDonald his "master," and his works of fantasy are some of my favorite books. Lewis also recognized that MacDonald's realistic fiction wasn't as strong: "Necessity made MacDonald a novelist, but few of his novels are good and none is very good. They are best when they depart most from the canons of novel writing... Sometimes they depart in order to come nearer to fantasy, as in the whole character of the hero in Sir Gibbie..."

This novel is full of broad Scots dial...more
Amy
SIR GIBBIE "tells the enchanting story of....a seemingly destitute orphan, whose life - thought he is unable to speak - communicates truth, innocent love, and goodness."

I especially love this version of the book because it is not edited at all, so the full color and the rich colloquialisms of the Scottish Highlands come through. You may have trouble at first trying to decipher what words such as cantrip, gowan, tarn, and hirsute refer to, but before long, you'll find yourself understanding ever...more
Susannahcox
Sir Gibbie reminds me a little of Prince Myshkin in Dostoevsky's The Idiot, although the characters in the latter novel appeared impervious to grace. Both are Christ-like figures with physical defects whose very goodness reveals cruelty, pride, selfishness, and despair in their fellow humans. MacDonald finds more "good soil" in Gibbie's society.
Kelsey Bryant
It's hard to know exactly what to say, other than that I loved it! It was different than any other book I've read, yet similar to the best Christian fiction I know of. The young Baronet, Gibbie, is a delight. His heart is pure and his life goal is to serve God with all his resources, both when he is young and penniless and when he comes into his inheritance. He loves people with God's love. It's a beautiful story; it made me laugh, ponder, and get misty-eyed. The characters, especially Gibbie, f...more
Karoline
So hard to rate this one. So many good things and so many inferior things rub elbows that I can hardly generalize. I'll just say this, that I've never been able to be sorry I spent time reading MacDonald. There's always something worth taking away, something wholesome and refreshing and lovely, however much saccharinity, error, or irrelevance attends it. John Buchan said of Walter Scott that he had the power of sophrosyne - saving thoughts, and spoke of a "lovely goodness" in his writing. That's...more
Lee Anne
Delightful story, somewhat Dickensian in flavor, but not as dour or plodding. My version is titled THE BARONET's SONG & has been on the shelf in my son's room for years from his junior high reading list. I am so glad I read it. It is a lovely tale, fabulous descriptions, wonderful insights into human nature, hopeful, redemptive. It is edited to somewhat more modern English, but still retains the syntax of a Highland brogue. Most enjoyable.
Phhornbuckle
Found George MacDonald's writings only recently in a thrift shop in Denver. A friend alerted me to him and told me C.S. Lewis said MacDonald influenced his own writing more than any other author. That alone makes him worth reading! Sir Gibbie was originally published in Scotland in 1879 and became a favorite of the Scottish people.
Angelica
It took me a while to finish this kindle-book. I got bogged down in the middle and set it aside for a few months before finishing. There were times when I really enjoyed it, and other times when it was just boring. In George MacDonald's trademark style, there were numerous mini-sermons throughout. Some of them were insightful and relevant, others seemed totally random and dragged on. It took a while to adjust to the strong Scottish brogue. I got the hang of it, but ended up skimming through leng...more
Samantha
Mar 31, 2010 Samantha rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes George MacDonald
The Captivating story of Scotland's wee Sir Gibbie, the seemingly destitute orphan unable to speak but whose life communicated truth, goodness, and love.
Wee Gibbie's greatest Joy was in helping others.
Left fatherless and penniless... his faith in humanity shaken... Would he ever be happy again?
A true "rags to riches"story! Also woven within is a tender, gentle love story... It will warm your heart and perhaps cause you to want to be more like 'wee Gibbie" in your day to day life as he models...more
Dave Rench
Good book. A little verbose at times, but enjoyable nonetheless. Especially hard read, though, as so much of it is written as the Scottish would speak it. Consequently, there's a lot of thinking that has to go on, just to decipher what the conversation is about.
I thought it was going to be about a knight, or something like that, but actually about a mute orphan with a heart of gold, and the different people that he impacts as he comes across their paths throughout his adolesence. A little far ou...more
Alexa
Actual rating: 3 1/2 stars.
Pretty good, but Gibbie was too perfect and I didn't really like the way the romance ended.
Jessica
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Billy
I am not one who identifies only with Christianity, or any one religion at all, and I don't quite fancy listening to just any speaker, but George MacDonald is definitely one who's sermons I would listen to, with rapt attention, open ears and heart, for his messages resonate truth goodness and love within me.

Sir Gibbie is a wonderful boy but mute, who springs forth unconditional love for all those around him. He is kind and true, and his tale is incredible and moving, and I feel all could benefi...more
Kelly
A slow read...made that way because of the era it was written and then translated into an "easier" English. The story line picks up about half way through the book. It's a sweet story of a mute boy left to his own on the streets who develops a family he can call his own and then his subsequent inheritance from his birth mother's family.
Cindy
Relaxing, fun read. Finally! I had been on a quest for a sweet story unoffensive to my conscience. Interesting tidbit as I start another George MacDonald book in the introduction it addresses MacDonald's theology as a reaction to his grandmother's "ruthlessly strict" Calvinism. Hmmmmm. Does anyone any more on him? I think I will look into it.
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Wee Sir Gibbie 1 10 Mar 02, 2008 08:22PM  
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George MacDonald was a Scottish author, poet, and Christian minister.

Known particularly for his poignant fairy tales and fantasy novels, George MacDonald inspired many authors, such as W. H. Auden, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and Madeleine L'Engle. It was C.S. Lewis that wrote that he regarded MacDonald as his "master": "Picking up a copy of Phantastes one day at a train-station bookstall, I be...more
More about George MacDonald...
The Princess and the Goblin The Princess and Curdie Phantastes At the Back of the North Wind The Light Princess

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“No man can order his life, for it comes flowing over him from behind. But if it lay before us, and we could watch its current approaching from a long distance, what could we do with it before it had reached the now? In like wise a man thinks foolishly who imagines he could have done this and that with his own character and development, if he had but known this and that in time.” 3 likes
“Then, with a horror of pitiful amazement, she saw a great cross marked in two cruel stripes on his back; and the thoughts that thereupon went coursing through her loving imagination, it would be hard to set forth. Could it be that the Lord was still, child and man, suffering for his race, to deliver his brothers and sisters from their sins? -- wandering, enduring, beaten, blessing still? accepting the evil, slaying it, and returning none? his patience the one rock where the evil word finds no echo; his heart the one gulf into which the dead-sea wave rushes with no recoil -- from which ever flows back only purest water, sweet and cool; the one abyss of destroying love, into which all wrong tumbles, and finding no reaction, is lost, ceases for evermore?” 1 likes
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