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 the steward, David Elginbrod. Drawn to the goodness of the man, he spends much of his free time with the family. He tutors the man and his beautiful young daughter Margaret.
His pupil Harry is drawn to Hugh, as is a young woman of the house, Lady Euphra, cousin to Hugh’s pupil. There is something not quite right about Euphra, though. Hugh comes to neglect his responsibilities to Harry to spend more time with Euphra. Eventually Hugh comes to learn that she is under the hypnotic control of the evil Herr von Funkelstein.
The book has a happy ending, though, with everything coming out right by the end. Good triumps over evil and all is well.