S. R. Crockett

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S. R. Crockett
Samuel Rutherford Crockett, by Elliott & Fry
Samuel Rutherford Crockett, by Elliott & Fry
Born(1859-09-24)24 September 1859
Little Duchrae, Balmaghie, Kirkcudbrightshire
Died16 April 1914(1914-04-16) (aged 54)
Tarascon-sur-Rhône France
Resting placeBalmaghie
OccupationMinister, Writer
NationalityScottish
Alma materEdinburgh University
Period1890-1914
GenreNovel, magazine and periodical serial

Samuel Rutherford Crockett (24 September 1859 – 16 April 1914), who published under the name "S. R. Crockett", was a Scottish novelist.

Life and work[edit]

He was born at Little Duchrae, Balmaghie, Kirkcudbrightshire, Galloway on 24 September 1859, the illegitimate son of dairymaid Annie Crocket. He was raised by his Cameronian grandparents on the tenanted farm until 1867 when the family moved to Cotton Street, Castle Douglas. (later fictionalised as Cairn Edward). He won the Galloway bursary to Edinburgh University in 1876, where he studied for an MA. He began his journalistic career to supplement his bursary, writing for magazines from 1877. He left University in April 1879 without formally graduating.[1] He travelled throughout Europe as a tutor between the years 1879 and 1881 returning to study for the ministry at Edinburgh's New College. He became minister of The Free Kirk Penicuik in November 1886. He married Ruth Mary Milner (daughter of George Milner) on March 10, 1887. He played a large part gaining justice for the relatives of victims in the Mauricewood Pit Disaster of 1889.[2] He left the ministry in January 1895 to pursue a full time writing career.

The Crockett's had four children: Maisie Rutherford, Philip Hugh Barbour, George Milner and Margaret Douglas, all of whom featured in his children's fictions. The family moved from Bank House, Penicuik in 1906 to Torwood House, Peebles but Crockett spent much of the year abroad and also regularly returned to Galloway.

He published a volume of poetry, Dulce Cor (Latin: Sweet Heart), under the pseudonym Ford Brereton in 1886. in the late 1880s he was a regular contributor to The Christian Leader Magazine, under W.H.Wylie. In 1893 he was noticed by William Robertson Nicoll, introduced to publisher T.Fisher Unwin who published a first collection of short stories and sketches under the titleThe Stickit Minister and some common men in 1893. It was an instant success, going into six editions within the year. He was taken on by leading London literary agent A.P.Watt who managed his career until his death. There followed extensive publications across a range of journals, magazines and periodicals in the UK and America and most of his 60+ serial works were subsequently published in novel form through James Clarke & Co, Hodder and Stoughton, and others.[1]

Bank House, Penicuik: the property was occupied by Crockett from 1893 to 1906.

His contemporary J. M. Barrie had already created a demand for stories in Lowland Scots,[3] with his sketches of Thrums in the late 1880s. R. L. Stevenson a corresponding friend of both writers, described the relationship thus: 'you are out of doors and Barrie is indoors' in a letter in 1893.

Crockett's breakthrough year occurred in 1894 when T.Fisher Unwin published no fewer than four of his works, The Raiders,[4] The Lilac Sunbonnet,[5] The PlayActress [6] and Mad Sir Uchtred of the Hills.[6]

Crockett was one of the new breed of professional writers emerging in the late 19th century whose work was written for the emerging popular 'mass market' readership. As one of the foremost Celebrity Authors he divided literary critics both his own time and subsequently. His fellow late nineteenth century novelist George Gissing for instance found his novel The Raiders "wearisome". [7]His early work was dismissed by some contemporary critics as Kailyard and it was a label that has proved hard to shift. The stigma associated with it has seen his work overlooked for many years. A reappraisal of the nebulous connection with Kailyard is beginning to be acknowledged,as evidenced by a re-appraisal of the whole Kailyard concept by writers such as Andrew Nash.[8] [9] The mid 20th century view that his later work was 'over-prolific and feebly sentimental[10] is now being challenged. His work is much less easy to categorise than such simplification suggests, not least because it is so extensive. Most broadly it falls into an historical adventure romance genre. However, he also wrote of contemporary issues, largely from a rural perspective. He championed the rural working classes and was outspoken against all forms of hierarchy. While many of his stories are set in rural Galloway, there are also stories set in Edinburgh, Scotland, England, France, Spain, and further abroad. In the late 1890s he was commissioned to write many introductions (including Blackwood's 1895 edition of John Galt) and, for children, versions of Sir Walter Scott stories. (Red Cap Tales and Red Cap Adventures). He wrote non fiction as well including a booklet published by the London camera manufacturer, Newman & Guardia, in 1900 comparing cameras favourably to pen and pencil and explaining how he encountered the N and G advertisement.[11] This led to the publications of a non fiction work The Adventurer in Spain (1903). His non fiction work Raiderland[12] (1904) takes the reader into the Galloway of his youth. He was an early adopter of the typewriter and his novel Vida (1908) first serialised in The People's Friend in 1907 features what is arguably the first car chase in fiction. In his youth he was a mountaineer and had an interest in astronomy.

He died in Tarascon, France on 16 April 1914 and was buried at Balmaghie Kirk on April 24 that year. A memorial to him was erected in Laurieston by public subscription in 1932. Queen Elizabeth (later the Queen Mother) was a benefactor.

Most of Crockett's work is now back in print.

In 2014 Ayton Publishing Limited published the 32 volume 'Galloway Collection', in time for the centenary of his death. [1]

Legacy and influence[edit]

  • A monument to Crockett can be seen at Laurieston, near Castle Douglas, Kirkcudbrightshire. It was designed by architect Thomas Peach Weir Young and unveiled in 1832. [2].
  • Crockett's 1901 novel Cinderella was filmed in 1922 as A Lowland Cinderella and was directed by Sidney Morgan and starred Joan Morgan. [3]
  • The Lilac Sunbonnet was adapted for the screen in 1923 and was directed by Sidney Morgan and starred Joan Morgan, Warwick Ward and Pauline Peters. [4]
  • In 2014 The Galloway Raiders [5] was set up as a literary society and online presence to explore his life and work and restore his credibility as one of Scotland's great writers. The Galloway Raiders also holds two archives of Crockett material; that of his biographer Dr Islay Donaldson, 'The Donaldson Archive' and Crockett scholar Richard D. Jackston 'The Jackson archive'.
  • Some papers are held by Edinburgh University.[13] Their website information is inaccurate in many respects including both birth and death dates.
  • A biography was published in 1989 by Dr Islay Donaldson 'The Life and Works of Samuel Rutherford Crockett[1]' and republished in 2016. ISBN 9781-9-10601-14-3
  • J. R. R. Tolkien credits him as an influence on his wolf-fight scenes: "the episode of the 'wargs' (I believe) is in part derived from a scene in S. R. Crockett's The Black Douglas, probably his best romance and anyway one that deeply impressed me in school-days".[14]

Published Works[edit]

Caricature of author Samuel Rutherford Crockett from the 5 August 1897 issue of Vanity Fair
Crockett's Hal o’ the Ironsides was originally published in The Argosy in 1914

The current most comprehensive list of Crockett's published work in book form amounts to 66 and is derived from Donaldson [1] and The Complete Crockett [15] Details of original UK and US publishers are given where known. A substantial number of works have been republished since the 100th anniversary of his death and are available as print or digital versions. Most comprehensive the The Galloway Collection (get citation). Given the ephemerality of magazine publication it is impossible to give a complete list of all his serialised work or published short stories.

Dulce Cor, (1886) London, Kegan, Paul and Co.

The Stickit Minister[16] (1893) London  T.Fisher Unwin

The Raiders,[4] (1894) London, T.Fisher Unwin

Mad Sir Uchtred of the Hills, (1894) [6] London, T.Fisher Unwin

The Lilac Sunbonnet, (1894)  [5] London, T. Fisher Unwin

The PlayActress, (1894)[6] London, T.Fisher Unwin

Men of the Moss Hags, (1895)[17] London, Isbister and Co.

Bog Myrtle and Peat , (1895)[18] London, Bliss,Foster and Sands.

A Galloway Herd, (1895)[19] New York, R.Fenno and Co.

Cleg Kelly, (1896)[20] London, Methuen and Co.

The Grey Man, (1896) London, T.Fisher Unwin. New York, Harper & Brothers, 1896

Sweetheart Travellers,[21] (1896) London, Wells, Gardner, Darton and Co.

Lads’ Love,[22] (1897) London, Bliss, Sands and Co.

Lochinvar, (1897)[23] London: Methuen and Co.

The Surprising Adventures of Sir Toady Lion, (1897)[24] London: Gardner,Darton and Co. New York: Frederick A. Stokes

The Red Axe, (1898) London: Smith, Elder and Co. New York: Harper & Bros.

The Standard Bearer, (1898)[25] London: Methuen and Co. New York, D. Appleton & Co, 1898

The Black Douglas, (1899)[26] London: Smith, Elder and Co

Kit Kennedy, (1899) [27] London: James Clarke and Co. Toronto: W. Briggs.

Ione March, (1899) London: Hodder & Stoughton.

Joan of the Sword Hand, (1900) London: Ward, Lock and Co. Toronto: Copp, Clark.

The Stickit Minister’s Wooing, (1900)[28] London: Hodder & Stoughton.

Little Anna Mark, (1900) London: Smith,Elder and Co.

Love Idylls, (1901) [29] London: John Murray.

Cinderella, (1901)[30] London: James Clarke and Co.

The Firebrand, (1901) London: Macmillan and Co.

The Silver Skull, (1901) London: Smith, Elder and Co.

The Dark o’ the Moon, (1902)[31] London: Macmillan and Co.

Flower o the Corn, (1902) London: James Clarke and Co.

The Adventurer in Spain, (1903) London: Isbister and Co.

The Banner of Blue, (1903)[32] London: Hodder & Stoughton.

The Loves of Miss Anne, (1903)[33] London: James Clarke and Co.

Strong Mac, (1904)[34] London: Ward, Lock and Co.

Raiderland, (1904)[12] London: Hodder & Stoughton.

Red Cap Tales, (1904) [35] London: Adam and Charles Black. New York: Macmillan.

Maid Margaret, (1905) [36] London: Hodder & Stoughton.

The Cherry Ribband, (1905) [37] London: Hodder & Stoughton.

Kid McGhie, (1905) [38] London: James Clarke and Co.  [ published as Fishers of Men in US]

Sir Toady Crusoe, (1905)[39] London: Wells, Gardner, Darton and Co.

The White Plumes of Navarre, (1906) London: Religious Tract Society

Little Esson, (1907) London: Ward,Lock and Co.

Me and Myn, (1907) London: T.Fisher Unwin.

Vida, (1907)[40] London: James Clarke and Co.

Deep Moat Grange, (1908) London: Hodder & Stoughton.

Princess Penniless, (1908) London: Hodder & Stoughton

The Bloom o’ the Heather, (1908) [41] London: Eveleigh, Nash.

Red Cap Adventures, (1908)[42]   London: Adam and Charles Black, New York: Macmillan and Co.

The Men of the Mountain, (1909) London: Religious Tract Society.

Rose of the Wilderness, (1909)[43] London: Hodder & Stoughton.

The Seven Wise Men, (1909) London: Hodder & Stoughton.

My Two Edinburghs (1909) London: The Cedar Press.

The Dew of Their Youth, (1910) [44] London: Hodder & Stoughton.

Young Nick and Old Nick, (1910) London: Stanley Paul and Co.

The Lady of a Hundred Dresses, (1911) London: Eveleigh, Nash.

Love in Pernicketty Town, (1911) London: Hodder & Stoughton.

The Smugglers, (1911) [45] London: Hodder & Stoughton.

The Moss Troopers, (1912)[46] London: Hodder & Stoughton [Published as Patsy in US]

Sweethearts at Home, (1912) London: Hodder & Stoughton.

Sandy’s Love Affair, (1913)[47] London: Hodder & Stoughton.

A Tatter of Scarlet, (1913) London: Hodder & Stoughton.

Silver Sand, (1914) [48] London: Hodder & Stoughton.

Hal o’ the Ironsides, (1915) Posthumous London; Hodder & Stoughton.

The Azure Hand, (1917) Posthumous London: Hodder & Stoughton.

The White Pope, (1920) Posthumous Edinburgh; Advocates Library.

Rogues Island, (1926)[49] Posthumous London: Hodder & Stoughton

Peter the Renegade, (2016)[50] Posthumous: Turriff: Ayton Publishing

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Murray,, Donaldson, Islay. The life and works of Samuel Rutherford Crockett (New, revised ed.). [Peterhead?]. ISBN 9781910601143. OCLC 973022326.
  2. ^ "Mauricewood Colliery Disaster".
  3. ^ Ousby 1995, p. 503.
  4. ^ a b 1859-1914,, Crockett, S. R. (Samuel Rutherford),. The raiders. Phillips, Cally, 1963-. [Scotland]. ISBN 9781908933102. OCLC 881445612.
  5. ^ a b 1859-1914,, Crockett, S. R. (Samuel Rutherford),. The lilac sunbonnet. Phillips, Cally, 1963-. [Scotland]. ISBN 9781908933171. OCLC 881445804.
  6. ^ a b c d 1859-1914,, Crockett, S. R. (Samuel Rutherford),. Mad Sir Uchtred ; and, the playactress. Phillips, Cally, 1963-. [Scotland]. ISBN 9781908933331. OCLC 881446020.
  7. ^ Coustillas, Pierre ed. London and the Life of Literature in Late Victorian England: the Diary of George Gissing, Novelist. Brighton: Harvester Press, 1978, p.371.
  8. ^ Nash 2007, Ch 3. S.R. Crockett Romancing Galloway.
  9. ^ 1972-, Nash, Andrew, (2007). Kailyard and Scottish literature. Amsterdam: Rodopi. ISBN 9781435600720. OCLC 173505053.
  10. ^ Daiches 1971, p. 127.
  11. ^ "Ex Cathedra". British Journal of Photography. XLVII (2098): 450. 20 July 1900.
  12. ^ a b 1859-1914,, Crockett, S. R. (Samuel Rutherford),. Raiderland. Phillips, Cally, 1963-. [Scotland]. ISBN 9781908933355. OCLC 881446021.
  13. ^ "The papers of Samuel Rutherford Crockett". Edinburgh University. Archived from the original on 5 August 2013. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
  14. ^ Rateliff & Tolkien 2007, p. 216.
  15. ^ "COMPLETE CROCKETT". FREE S.R.CROCKETT ARCHIVE. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  16. ^ 1859-1914,, Crockett, S. R. (Samuel Rutherford),. The stickit minister : (and other common men). Phillips, Cally, 1963-. [Scotland]. ISBN 9781908933164. OCLC 881445803.
  17. ^ 1859-1914,, Crockett, S. R. (Samuel Rutherford),. Men of the moss hags. Phillips, Cally, 1963-. [Scotland]. ISBN 9781908933065. OCLC 881445729.
  18. ^ 1859-1914,, Crockett, S. R. (Samuel Rutherford),. Bog myrtle and peat. Phillips, Cally, 1963-. [Scotland]. ISBN 9781908933188. OCLC 881445620.
  19. ^ 1859-1914,, Crockett, S. R. (Samuel Rutherford),. A Galloway herd. Phillips, Cally, 1963-. [Scotland]. ISBN 9781908933195. OCLC 881445894.
  20. ^ 1859-1914,, Crockett, S. R. (Samuel Rutherford),. Cleg Kelly. Phillips, Cally, 1963-. [Scotland]. ISBN 9781908933232. OCLC 881446000.
  21. ^ 1859-1914,, Crockett, S. R. (Samuel Rutherford),. Sweetheart travellers. Phillips, Cally, 1963-. Turriff, Aberdeenshire. ISBN 9781910601051. OCLC 946703464.
  22. ^ 1859-1914,, Crockett, S. R. (Samuel Rutherford),. Lad's love. Phillips, Cally, 1963-. [Scotland]. ISBN 9781908933201. OCLC 881445852.
  23. ^ 1859-1914,, Crockett, S. R. (Samuel Rutherford),. Lochinvar. Phillips, Cally, 1963-, Crockett, S. R. (Samuel Rutherford), 1859-1914. [Scotland]. ISBN 9781908933072. OCLC 881445686.
  24. ^ 1859-1914,, Crockett, S. R. (Samuel Rutherford),. The surprising adventures of Sir Toady Lion with those of General Napoleon Smith : an improving history for old boys, young boys, good boys, bad big boys, little boys, cow boys and tom boys (New ed.). Turriff, Aberdeenshire. ISBN 9781910601068. OCLC 1064385634.
  25. ^ 1859-1914,, Crockett, S. R. (Samuel Rutherford),. The standard bearer. Phillips, Cally, 1963-. [Scotland]. ISBN 9781908933089. OCLC 881445751.
  26. ^ 1859-1914,, Crockett, S. R. (Samuel Rutherford),. The black Douglas. Phillips, Cally, 1963-. [Scotland]. ISBN 9781908933041. OCLC 881445558.
  27. ^ 1859-1914,, Crockett, S. R. (Samuel Rutherford),. Kit Kennedy. Phillips, Cally, 1963-. [Scotland]. ISBN 9781908933256. OCLC 881445998.
  28. ^ 1859-1914,, Crockett, S. R. (Samuel Rutherford),. The stickit minister's wooing. Phillips, Cally, 1963-. [Scotland]. ISBN 9781908933218. OCLC 881445962.
  29. ^ 1859-1914,, Crockett, S. R. (Samuel Rutherford),. Love idylls. Phillips, Cally, 1963-. [Scotland]. ISBN 9781908933225. OCLC 881445938.
  30. ^ 1859-1914,, Crockett, S. R. (Samuel Rutherford),. Cinderella. Phillips, Cally, 1963-. [Scotland]. ISBN 9781908933287. OCLC 881445945.
  31. ^ 1859-1914,, Crockett, S. R. (Samuel Rutherford),. The dark o' the moon. Phillips, Cally, 1963-, Crockett, S. R. (Samuel Rutherford), 1859-1914. [Scotland]. ISBN 9781908933119. OCLC 881445785.
  32. ^ 1859-1914,, Crockett, S. R. (Samuel Rutherford),. The banner of blue. Phillips, Cally, 1963-. [Scotland]. ISBN 9781908933157. OCLC 881445800.
  33. ^ 1859-1914,, Crockett, S. R. (Samuel Rutherford),. The loves of Miss Anne. Phillips, Cally, 1963-. [Scotland]. ISBN 9781908933294. OCLC 881446059.
  34. ^ 1859-1914,, Crockett, S. R. (Samuel Rutherford),. Strong Mac. Phillips, Cally, 1963-. [Scotland]. ISBN 9781908933263. OCLC 881446017.
  35. ^ 1859-1914,, Crockett, S. R. (Samuel Rutherford),. Red cap tales (New ed.). Turriff, Aberdeenshire. ISBN 9781910601075. OCLC 1064207072.
  36. ^ 1859-1914,, Crockett, S. R. (Samuel Rutherford),. Maid Margaret. Phillips, Cally, 1963-, Crockett, S. R. (Samuel Rutherford), 1859-1914. [Scotland]. ISBN 9781908933058. OCLC 881445644.
  37. ^ 1859-1914,, Crockett, S. R. (Samuel Rutherford),. The cherry ribband. Phillips, Cally, 1963-. [Scotland]. ISBN 9781908933096. OCLC 881445745.
  38. ^ 1859-1914,, Crockett, S. R. (Samuel Rutherford),. Kid McGhie. Phillips, Cally, 1963-. [Scotland]. ISBN 9781908933249. OCLC 881445996.
  39. ^ 1859-1914,, Crockett, S. R. (Samuel Rutherford),. Sir Toady Crusoe (New ed.). Turriff, Aberdeenshire. ISBN 9781910601082. OCLC 1063585410.
  40. ^ 1859-1914,, Crockett, S. R. (Samuel Rutherford),. Vida : (the Iron Lord of Kirktown). Phillips, Cally, 1963-. [Scotland]. ISBN 9781908933300. OCLC 881446066.
  41. ^ 1859-1914,, Crockett, S. R. (Samuel Rutherford),. The bloom o' the heather. Phillips, Cally, 1963-. [Scotland]. ISBN 9781908933348. OCLC 881446093.
  42. ^ 1859-1914,, Crockett, S. R. (Samuel Rutherford),. Red cap adventures : being the second series of 'Red cap tales' stolen from the treasure chest of the wizard of the north. Phillips, Cally, 1963-. Turriff, Aberdeenshire. ISBN 9781910601099. OCLC 946703506.
  43. ^ 1859-1914,, Crockett, S. R. (Samuel Rutherford),. Rose of the wilderness. Phillips, Cally, 1963-. [Scotland]. ISBN 9781908933317. OCLC 881446060.
  44. ^ 1859-1914,, Crockett, S. R. (Samuel Rutherford),. The dew of their youth. Phillips, Cally, 1963-. [Scotland]. ISBN 9781908933270. OCLC 881446001.
  45. ^ 1859-1914,, Crockett, S. R. (Samuel Rutherford),. The smugglers. Phillips, Cally, 1963-. [Scotland]. ISBN 9781908933140. OCLC 881445755.
  46. ^ 1859-1914,, Crockett, S. R. (Samuel Rutherford),. The moss troopers. Phillips, Cally, 1963-. [Scotland]. ISBN 9781908933133. OCLC 881445799.
  47. ^ 1859-1914,, Crockett, S. R. (Samuel Rutherford),. Sandy's love. Phillips, Cally, 1963-. [Scotland]. ISBN 9781908933324. OCLC 881446019.
  48. ^ 1859-1914,, Crockett, S. R. (Samuel Rutherford),. Silver sand. Phillips, Cally, 1963-, Crockett, S. R. (Samuel Rutherford), 1859-1914. [Scotland]. ISBN 9781908933126. OCLC 881445726.
  49. ^ 1859-1914,, Crockett, S. R. (Samuel Rutherford),. Rogues' island. Phillips, Cally, 1963-. Turriff, Aberdeenshire. ISBN 9781910601112. OCLC 946703505.
  50. ^ 1859-1914,, Crockett, S. R. (Samuel Rutherford),. Peter the renegade. [Peterhead, Scotland]. ISBN 9781910601198. OCLC 954103165.

Further reading[edit]

  • Harper, Malcolm M'Lachlan (1907). Crockett with Grey Galloway: The Novelist and His Works. Hodder and Stoughton.
  • Donaldson, I.M. (1989) The Life and Works of Samuel Rutherford Crockett,[1] Aberdeen University Press. (Revised 2016 edition, Ayton Press)
  • Nash, Andrew, (2007). Kailyard and Scottish literature. Amsterdam: Rodopi. 90-420-2203-5
  • Phillips, C (2015) Discovering Crockett's Galloway (Volume 1)[2] Ayton Publishing.
  • Phillips, C (2016) Discovering Crockett's Galloway (Volume 2)[3] Ayton Publishing.
  • Phillips, C (2017) Discovering Crockett's Edinburgh.[4] Ayton Publishing.

External links[edit]

https://www.bfi.org.uk/films-tv-people/4ce2b6af5490c

https://www.bfi.org.uk/films-tv-people/4ce2b6aee1ca9

http://www.scottisharchitects.org.uk/building_full.php?id=223631

  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference :0 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ 1963-, Phillips, Cally,. Discovering Crockett's Galloway. Volume one, Adventures in Crockett country. Turriff, Aberdeenshire. ISBN 9781910601013. OCLC 926095375.
  3. ^ 1963-, Phillips, Cally,. Discovering Crockett's Galloway. Volume two, Island and inland adventures. Turriff, Aberdeenshire. ISBN 9781910601020. OCLC 980362629.
  4. ^ CALLY., PHILLIPS, (2017). DISCOVERING CROCKETT'S EDINBURGH. [Place of publication not identified],: AYTON Publishing Limited. ISBN 1910601047. OCLC 1009279487.