3 November 1850
|Died||6 May 1907 (aged 56)
Mount Pleasant, Iowa
Rev. John Watson (3 November 1850 – 6 May 1907), known by his pen name Ian Maclaren, was a Scottish author and theologian.
He was the son of John Watson, a civil servant. He was born at Manningtree, Essex, and educated at Stirling and at Edinburgh University, later studying theology at New College, Edinburgh, and at Tübingen.
In 1874 he became a minister of the Free Church of Scotland and became assistant minister of Edinburgh Barclay Church. Subsequently he was minister at Logiealmond in Perthshire and at Glasgow, and in 1880 he became minister of Sefton Park Presbyterian Church, Liverpool, from which he retired in 1905.
In 1896 he was Lyman Beecher lecturer at Yale University, and in 1900 he was moderator of the synod of the English Presbyterian Church. While travelling in the United States he died from blood poisoning, following a bout with tonsilitis, at Mount Pleasant, Iowa. His body was returned to England, and buried in Smithdown Cemetery in Liverpool.
Maclaren's first stories of rural Scottish life, Beside the Bonnie Brier Bush (1894), achieved extraordinary popularity, selling more than 700 thousand copies, and were succeeded by other successful books, The Days of Auld Lang Syne (1895), Kate Carnegie and those Ministers (1896), and Afterwards and other Stories (1898). By his own name Watson published several volumes of sermons, among them being The Upper Room (1895), The Mind of the Master (1896) and The Potter's Wheel (1897).
It is thought that Maclaren was the original source of the quotation “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle,” now widely misattributed to Plato or Philo of Alexandria. The oldest known instance of this quotation is in the 1897 Christmas edition of The British Weekly: “Be pitiful, for every man is fighting a hard battle.”
Fiction as Ian Maclaren
- 1894: Beside the Bonnie Brier Bush
- 1895: The Days of Auld Lang Syne
- 1895: A Doctor of the Old School
- 1896: Kate Carnegie and those Ministers
- 1898: Afterwards and other Stories
- 1898: Rabbi Saunderson
- 1899: Young Barbarians
- 1907: Graham of Claverhouse
Non-fiction as Ian Maclaren
- 1898: Companions of the Sorrowful Way
- 1900: Church Folks
- 1912: Books and Bookmen — a description of booksellers in general, the industry, and the books that are sold.
Books of Sermons as John Watson
- 1895: The Upper Room
- 1896: The Mind of the Master
- 1897: The Potter's Wheel
- 1898: Companions of the Sorrowful Way
- 1899: In Answer to Prayer: The Touch of the Unseen - A book of sermons cowritten with Rev. W. Boyd Carpenter (Lord Bishop of Ripon 11), Rev. Theodore L. Cuyler, Rev. Canon Knox Little, William Quarrier, Leonard K. Shaw, Rev. R. F. Horton, Rev. H. Price Hughes, Rev. J. Clifford, G. D. Boyle (Dean of Salisbury)
- Papers Past - Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XLII, 8 May 1907, Page 4
- Nicoll, W. Robertson (1908). ‘Ian Maclaren’: Life of the Rev. John Watson, D.D. London: Hodder and Stoughton. p. 379.
- "Ian Maclaren's Beside the Bonnie Brier Bush is one of the most notorious works of Scottish literature. First published in 1894, the book was an instant best-seller. Millions of readers across the world rushed to devour these nostalgic tales of Scottish life in a bygone age.". Kennedy & Boyd. Retrieved 13 October 2009.
- "Kailyard School (1886-1896)". The Literary Encyclopedia. Retrieved 13 October 2009.
- Quote Investigator: Be Kind; Everyone You Meet is Fighting a Hard Battle, June 29, 2010
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "article name needed". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ian Maclaren.|
- Works by Ian Maclaren at Project Gutenberg
- Works by or about Ian Maclaren at Internet Archive
- Works by or about John Watson at Internet Archive
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