The Kailyard Collection

Beside the Bonnie Brier Bush – Ian Maclaren

The Stickit Minister – S. R. Crockett

Robert Urquhart – Gabriel Setoun

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ISBN 9781910486207 (epub) 9781910486214 (mobi)
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Three cosy and nostalgic tales that were hugely popular on their first publication, The Kailyard Collection promises heart-warming stories full of humour. 

Beside the Bonnie Brier Bush by Ian Maclaren

Lord Malcolm falls in love with Flora, the daughter of a shepherd. The young lovers face resistance from their families due to their different social standing until the young nobleman proves his intentions are honourable. Based on John Watson’s (writing as Ian Maclaren) experiences as a church minister in Perthshire, his stories of rural Scottish life were hugely popular. As it was written by a minister, the stories do tend to focus on the importance of the church and how it affects everyday life.

The Stickit Minister  by S. R. Crockett

This is a collection of short stories, first published in 1893. Crockett’s tales are set mostly in Galloway – a blend of social observation and wry humour. The stories reveal both the good and bad of ministers and their behaviour, but are sympathetic to a minister’s lot. The title story refers to a minister who fails to make the grade, i.e. he has failed to achieve the necessary qualifications. Also known for his historical adventure stories, Crockett is a skilful writer whose characters are vividly drawn and the stories make highly entertaining reading.

Robert Urquhart  by Gabriel Setoun

Thomas Nicoll Hepburn was probably better known as a poet but he did also write some Kailyard fiction. Writing as Gabriel Setoun, he set his tale in rural Fife. The story is laced with pathos and dry humour, a trait found in many Kailyard books. The hero (a young teacher) leaves Edinburgh to take up a position at a village school. Once there, he meets and falls in love with Elsie, a woman with a dark past. As the romance develops he also has to contend with a rough farmer who sits on the school board.
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