A Trip to Galloway in Memory of a Neglected Writer

Clatteringshaws Loch, Galloway
Last week we had a couple of trips to Galloway for the relaunch of Ayton Publishing's Galloway Collection of the novels of S R Crockett. On Wednesday, there was a small but moving ceremony at Laurieston, where there's a simple but fairly hefty monument to the writer, set on a little hillock above the village. This event was to mark the 100th anniversary of his death, and writer/publisher Cally Phillips gave a small introduction and a reading from one of his books, while the daffodils blew in a stiff breeze and the sun shone through the trees that were just coming into leaf. Later that week, we headed to beautiful Clatteringshaws, (above) for a celebratory picnic to the accompaniment of the first cuckoo of the year.

Cally, former writer in residence in Dumfries and Galloway, undertook the huge project of properly republishing with critical introductions, some of the work of this once best selling author: 32 books forming the Galloway Collection. You can find out more about Crockett and the newly republished books here, on the Galloway Raiders website. It's a sad lesson for all writers, really - how illusory and fleeting is fame. Crockett was a huge bestselling author in his day, with hundreds of thousands of copies sold and people eagerly anticipating his next book. After his death in 1914, changing tastes and publishing fashions meant that his books gradually disappeared from public consciousness, although you'll still find old copies in libraries here in Ayrshire and in Dumfries and Galloway. Now, under the Ayton imprint, you can explore these readable and entertaining tales of adventure, romance and derring do all over again!


Becca McCallum said…
The only book of Crockett's that I've ever read was The Grey Man, which I read when I was about 13, and loved the fact that it was set in the area I grew up in.
Me too, Becca. I'm going to read lots more of them now that they are available.