In the Near Loss of Everything:
George MacDonald's Son in America

by Dale Wayne Slusser 
Book Description 

In the summer of 1887, George MacDonald's son Ronald, newly engaged to artist Louise Blandy, sailed from England to America to teach school. The next summer he returned to England to marry Louise and bring her back to America. Soon afterward he secured a five-year position as headmaster of Ravenscroft High School in Asheville, North Carolina. On August 27, 1890, after less than a year in his new position, his wife died leaving him with an infant daughter. Ronald once described losing a beloved spouse as "the near loss of everything." Ronald's story is mentioned briefly in biographies of his father, but Asheville resident and MacDonald scholar, Dale Wayne Slusser, presents new information, unpublished letters, and over 30 illustrations. Also included are Ronald's essay about his father, "George MacDonald: A Personal Note," plus a selection from "The Laughing Elf," his 1922 fable about the necessity of both sorrow and joy in life.


Praise for In The Near Loss of Everything

​​​"Dale Wayne Slusser's careful research of primary documents is artfully presented in this absorbing account of the life of George MacDonald's son"
​David L. Neuhouser, Taylor University
Author of A Novel Pulpit: Sermons From George MacDonald's Novels​

​"In telling the story of a man who did not give up, Slusser allows Ronald to do what his father has so often done: inspire and encourage. Well researched and well worth the having."
​Jeff McInnis, author of Shadows and Chivalry: C.S. Lewis and George MacDonald on Suffering, Evil, and Goodness.

"Readers of George MacDonald's writings and life will especially enjoy Dale Wayne Slusser's informative and untold story of MacDonald's son, Ronald, during his struggling life in America."

​Glenn Edward Sadler, editor of An Expression of Character: The Letters of George MacDonald