the kailyard collection
Beside the Bonnie Brier Bush – Ian Maclaren
The Stickit Minister – S. R. Crockett
Robert Urquhart – Gabriel Setoun
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. The stories 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 mainly set in Galloway, and use a blend of social observation and wry humour. The stories reveal both good and bad sides of ministers' behaviour, and are sympathetic to a minister’s lot. The title 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 best known as a poet, but he also wrote Kailyard fiction. Writing as Gabriel Setoun, this story is set in rural Fife and is laced with pathos and dry humour – traits found in many Kailyard books. The hero is a young teacher who 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 has to contend with a farmer on the school board.