New York: The Macmillan Company. Very Good+ in Very Good+ dj. 1935. First American Edition. Hardcover. NOISBN . (price-clipped) [nice solid book, light age-toning to edges of text block, a bit of shelfwear to bottom edge; jacket has minor paper loss at a few corners, one small internal tape-repair at top of spine, light soiling to rear panel]. "Biting and yet intensely understanding" stories, set in Scotland and suffused with Scottish dialect. The author is described in the jacket copy as "a crofter living on a moor above a deep glen in Inverness-shire, overlooking the Black Isle and the Moray Firth" -- and how much more of a hardcore Scot could ye be than that, I'm thinkin'? -- but don't get the idea that Douglas was just some crazy old coot living in a stone hut and writing short stories for his own amusement. He was a literary figure of some note -- well known for assembling "The Scots Book," a collection of poems, folklore, prose, letters and miscellanous facts about Scotland and the Scottish people, also published in 1935 (and still in print today) -- but more significantly, he was also an active participant in an underground movement for Scottish independence, to the extent of dedicating his own personal fortune to the establishment and supply of a secret military organization which was planning an insurrection against the Brits. Also in 1935 (a busy year!) he was kidnapped and beaten by British agents, but instead of taking the hint, he returned to Edinburgh, where he was soon arrested and charged with High Treason. In a complicated out-of-court deal, he was released on the condition that he go into exile in Ireland, which indeed he did for the next thirty years. Until his death in 1984, he remained, in the words of one writer, "a fiery and passionate ultra-nationalist who lived only for the day when Scotland would be free and take its rightful place in the world." This book, sometimes incorrectly catalogued as a novel, was the first of only two books of fiction he published (the second being a 1941 novel, "The Closed Door"). Rather scarce, with fewer than twenty libraries worldwide (per OCLC) holding copies of either the British or the American edition. . (Inventory #: 20176)
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