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The Lone Shieling
By G. M. Fraser


The Lone Shieling, or The Authorship of the Canadian Boat Song, with other Literary and Historical Sketches, by G. M. Fraser (8vo, pp. xii, 242. Aberdeen : Wm. Smith & Sons. 1908. 45. nett), makes a pleasant handful of reprinted essays, chiefly on Aberdeen subjects, such as the Town Council's connection with literature, Sir Walter Scott's attitude a little aloof towards the city, the Fintray Chapbooks, the place-name 'Aberdeen,' the market cross, and celebrities like Gordon of Rothiemay, Peter Buchanan, James Beattie, and John Longmuir. The title-giving paper presents insinuating persuasions for Mr. Fraser's conclusion that Professor John Wilson wrote the boat song, with its haunting melancholy of reminiscence, when * Mountains divide us and a waste of seas.'

Parallels from Wilson's other poems are adduced, which are not without distinct force as evidence, in spite of the fact that this noble piece originally appeared in a Blackwood article which Wilson did not write. It is always hard to establish authorship on internal evidence. Mr. Fraser wins hearty sympathy at least for his zealous advocacy of a claim for Wilson which Wilson himself never made. Easy in style, and with a local patriotism well ballasted with literary and historical lore, Mr. Fraser's volume is a north country collection worth making and worth having.

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