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Tales of the Scottish Peasantry
By Alexander and John Bethune (1884)


Editorial Preface

No apology is required for the republication of these tales. Their own merit is sufficient justification for their reappearance in the present handy form. They were originally published in two volumes in 1838 and 1843, and, at the time, excited great interest in the literary world from the highly characteristic and original features they contained, and from the general interest felt in the noble-minded and highly-gifted authors. Copies of the original volumes are now rarely to be met with, and when they do turn up, it is at a price which practically puts them beyond the reach of the ordinary reader. This has been so for many years, and the wonder is that they have not been reproduced ere now in a suitable form, and at a moderate cost. Most of the tales are written by Alexander, a few by John, whom, however, we associate with his elder brother in the biographical sketch, as their life-pursuits, tastes, and interests, were so interwoven as almost to be identical. They were also authors of much miscellaneous literature, including poetry and biography, which appeared in the periodical literature of the day. These contributions, however, the publisher does not consider as coming within the scope of the present volume. Regarding the tales, they are not only good in themselves, but they assist in preserving and illustrating in a popular form the manners, habits, and local customs of the Scottish peasantry during the first quarter of the present century. And in addition, they possess to an unusually high degree the more excellent and nobler qualities of simplicity, and of being true to nature, with a distinct and ever present, but not obtrusive tendency to teach some high moral purpose, or to give expression to some healthy, soul touching sentiment, which the heart loves to cherish.

Contents

Memoirs of Alexander Bethune
embracing selections from his correspondence and literary remains (1845)


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