A Tribute to Rolland Hein

Rolland Hein

We are sad to announce that another great advocate of George MacDonald has recently passed away. Rolland Hein died peacefully at his home in Illinois on 10 March 2023 at the age of 90.

Rolland was one of the pioneering MacDonald scholars in the 1970s and 80s who helped to resuscitate MacDonald’s reputation and promote his legacy. He wrote four books on MacDonald, including The Heart of George MacDonald and The Harmony Within, but perhaps the most important of which is his comprehensive biography, George MacDonald: Victorian Mythmaker. After his retirement from Wheaton College in 1997, he continued to write and think about MacDonald, publishing his final book on MacDonald (The Fairytale World of George MacDonald) just four years ago. He was one of the foremost scholars of Lilith, MacDonald’s final adult fantasy novel, editing both the Johannesen volumes on Lilith (First and Final, and Variorum Lilith) which together include all known manuscript versions of the text. In addition, he led regular reading groups on MacDonald at the Wade Center helping to guide students through all of MacDonald’s works from the novels to the sermons to the fantasies.

He will be remembered by many MacDonald scholars and enthusiasts as a generous soul who was giving with his time, enthusiasm and assistance (both academic and pastoral). Like Mr Raven (and many other MacDonald characters), he was an avid gardener who delighted in all growing things. He followed in MacDonald’s footsteps as a teacher who taught his students to read both with their minds and with their hearts. Our condolences go out to his wife of 67 years, Dorothy, and to all his family and friends.

Danny Gabelman - GM Society Academic Rep

Registered UK Charity 1024021