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Cleg Kelly: Arab of the City
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By Crockett, S.R. With an Introduction by Richard D. Jackson
ISBN 1849211418
SERIES The Kailyard Authors
Paperback  314 pages
 
Published 21 August 2014
UK Price £12.95   Order from amazon.co.uk
US Price $19.95   Order from amazon.com

When Cleg Kelly was first published, William Wallace in the Academy declared it 'out of sight the ablest and richest story of gamin life that has appeared in our time - the story that recalls most readily Oliver Twist and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.' Set partly in Edinburgh, and through the eyes and adventures of Cleg Kelly, 'Arab of the City', the author paints a vividly imaginative picture of life as it used to be in the poverty-ridden streets of the capital. Written immediately after the author resigned from his position as Minister in the Free Church of Scotland, the novel sets the natural Christian impulses of its rebellious boy hero against religious hypocrisy and the cruelty and mistreatment of children. Blending urban and rural realism with gothic mystery, the story confirmed Crockett's position as one of the leading novelists of his day. This edition includes a detailed introduction by Richard D. Jackson which draws extensively on archival evidence to reveal the biographical contexts of the novel and Crockett's sources and processes of composition, allowing readers a richly-informed approach to a novel that explodes the myths of the Kailyard and, in the words of Wallace, 'shows most clearly that Crockett has the supreme story-teller's gift of a vigorous, resourceful and genuinely creative imagination.'

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