During the time I spent exploring the illustrations for At The Back of the North Wind, I discovered a strong influence between MacDonald’s plot and theme for his book and the earlier Charles Dickens book Dombey & Son. Once it is pointed out it seems incontrovertibly true.
"Dombey and Grandson: Parallels between At the Back of the North Wind and Dombey and Son,"
Inklings Forever: Vol. 7
, Article 24.
Available at: https://pillars.taylor.edu/inklings_forever/vol7/iss1/24