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The Tutor's First Love

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  408 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
Another classic love story retold for today's reader. Deep spiritual insights are artfully woven into the intriguing plot.
Paperback, 238 pages
Published July 1st 2000 by Bethany House Publishers (first published 1862)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jan 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Once more I am astonished at George MacDonald's work. This story is mysterious, dark, and suspenseful, yet through it all shines the glorious truth of the gospel. There times I was confused and didn't know if I agreed with the authors thinking on certain areas, but the more I read the more I understood. Satan's power is very great, but God's power is even greater.

Hugh Sutherland is a wonderful character. He struggles just as anyone would. His confusion is very real. The last page really choked m
Cindy Rinaman
Dec 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-star-reviews
I have read only the eponymous selection, but this collection is ENORMOUS, and I hope to dip into it throughout my life! After reading Michael Phillips's adaptations of several of MacDonald's novels I was keen to read some in the original form, Scots and all. This collection meets that need, and I'm glad to have read the first story as G.M. intended it.
Jul 01, 2013 rated it liked it
I have been all but absorbed in George MacDonald's non-fanciful novels for the past several months. This is the first of the Michael Phillips edited versions that I've read. I was wary of them to begin with, but I found this volume at a thrift store and decided to give it a go. Mr. Phillips' edition obviously made for a quicker, lighter read, but there was little of the luster and richness to which I've grown accustomed in George MacDonald's other wonderful works. Alas! Lesson learned. I will st ...more
Feb 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
MacDonald was a spiritual genius. He was not a psychological genius; some of his characters are ridiculously saintly. The story itself could have been excellent if the characters were a little more believable, but I wasn't reading it for the story; I was reading for the spiritual insights, which, as I mentioned, were genius.
Kilian Metcalf
Jan 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not one of my favorite novels by George MacDonald, but worth the time reading it. I was sorry the title character disappeared from the novel so early, but his influence is felt throughout the book. I was put off a bit by the belief in mesmerism and the influence the villain had over one of the characters, but if one overlooks that, the story is readable enough.

The main character, Hugh Sutherland, accepts a position as tutor to the heir of a Scottish estate. In his hikes on the land, he encounter
Glen Grunau
Oct 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The more I read George MacDonald, the more I find in his writing the soul of a contemplative. Here a few of my favourite quotes from this book.

This quote challenged my view of God, which is still in need of further refining: "My father used to say that God was always finding every excuse for us that could be found; every true one, you know; not one false one."

One of the reasons I have found much of conservative evangelicalism so unsatisfying is because of the proud certainty with which so many c
Nov 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As always, George MacDonald is inspiring. The two characters, David Elginbrod and his daughter Margaret, are such powerful examples of Christianity in everyday life.

I liked how MacDonald was able to capture some of the weaknesses in his other characters as well. Euphra is proud and easily manipulated. Mr. Arnold embodies "manliness." The Appleditches are outward Christians, but look down on the poor and care more about their bank account balances than anything else. Very good character sketches
Molly Bayne cundall
Feb 08, 2017 rated it liked it
I would love to get hold of George MacDonald's original stories. I have to say this version edited by Michael Philips for "today's reader" had me feeling gipped the whole time. I didn't not enjoy the story and a few of the characters I really liked, but it felt contrived and definitely like something was missing. Some really good theological nuggets and descriptions held true, though, so that was good.
Dec 26, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ebb and Flow was theme of my experience with this book. There were definitely some slow parts to this book, but - like every MacDonald book - lots of wonderful insights. Some nights I would get 7 or 8 chapters in - couldn't put it down... other nights I couldn't get past one chapter. At one point, the book took an unexpected turn and became pleasantly terrifying - this was the best part for me. Unfortunately, by chapter 60, I was ready for it to be done... definitely too long. Also, while I'm fa ...more
Jan 31, 2010 rated it really liked it
A edited version of George MacDonald's "David Elginbrod". I am grateful for the elimination of the writing in dialect that MacDonald used when he first wrote this. 19th century Scottish brogue in written form is a challenge for me. At the same time I am told that the editor also did some cutting of the text and that makes me wonder what good stuff I missed.

It's an interesting read, giving thoughtful insight into MacDonald's theology and his response to the practice of religion in his day as wel
A 3-star rating for a George MacDonald is still a pretty good read, but this one definitely is not one of his best. The title is deceiving, as the action mainly focuses Hugh, who is not nearly as interesting as David (or as other characters in the book, for that matter). The middle of the book is very good, where Hugh and his friends are dealing with "biological" mysteries (really those of hypnosis and mesmerism). These interactions are the heart of the book, yet seem to do little to contribute ...more
Caroline Abbott
I enjoyed this but it took me some time to get into reading it. Since it was written many years ago, there was much more prose, and much less dialogue then the current reader is used to. Once I got past this, I began appreciating the book more. I enjoyed it from the perspective that the author focused on the good in people, (much different from modern day authors), and pointed out these good, godly qualities.
Becky Mackey
Mar 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
This was my second read of this book. I was in high school the first time I read it. In this second reading, I was struck by different things since I now twice the age of my first reading and mother of two. I love books that take you along on the path of personal and spiritual development without beating you over the head about it.
Sep 18, 2013 rated it it was ok

I like George McDonald's writing style, it's classic and nostalgic. But the story itself did not come together for me. In the beginning two characters meet, the stage is set for what is to come, but it doesn't happen until the end. It felt like all the rest was filler, just because it's pretty obvious what will happen, right from the beginning.
Jul 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Amazed by the variety of strong characters George MacDonald has brought to life and how relatable their struggles are -not so much the physical details like Euphra's hypnotism, but the formation that took place as a result of the ordeal.
Dec 04, 2008 added it
Shelves: young-adult
YA Mac
May 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It had been a while since I had read a book by MacDonald and now I remember why I enjoy his stories so much.
Marty Love
Feb 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Still one of my favorite books.
Charity U
Jan 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
MacDonald is such an interesting author! This story had some strange twists, but was overall enjoyable.
Dec 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Another BEAUTIFUL work!
I shall spend my life growing towards seeing the world the way George MacDonald saw it.
Feb 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature, macdonald
Though the Scottish was somewhat difficult by times, I enjoyed this book immensely.
May 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hard to digest with the old language, much better if you hear it read. but a great story.
Jan 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This and all other G.Mac books are great stories of the gospel lived out in peoples' lives. My favorite author.
Karen L.
May 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: george-macdonald
Romantic and inspiring, of course it's a George MacDonald!
Lynda Newman
Story was very good, but hard to read. Takes place in Scotland and the conversations make for slow going.
Dec 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Beautifully written. More of a story about grace than a love story.
Aug 19, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian, fiction
An old fashioned book but such beautiful characters. An engaging plot, too.
Elisha Andres
Mar 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, history
I really enjoyed this book. Very suspenseful! :) I would recommend it to anyone who likes to read good wholesome books.
Carol Isaac
rated it really liked it
Oct 20, 2012
rated it liked it
Jan 15, 2009
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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 G.K. Chesterton, W. H. Auden, J.R.R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and Madeleine L'Engle. Lewis that wrote that he regarded MacDonald as his "master": "Picking up a copy of Phantastes one day at a train-station bookstall, I
More about George MacDonald...

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“It would hardly be kindness if he didn't punish sin, not to use every means to put the evil thing far from us. Whatever may be meant by the place of misery Mr. Sutherland, it's only another form of his love. Love shining through the fogs of evil, and thus made to look very different.” 4 likes
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