Kennedy and Boyd

The Cunninghame Graham Collection Series

Series Editors: Alan Macgillivray and John C. Mcintyre

Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham first came to public attention as a Radical Liberal Member of Parliament in the 1880s, when he was in his thirties.  The apparent contradiction between his Scottish aristocratic family background and his vigorous attachment to the causes of Socialism, the Labour movement, anti-Imperialism and Scottish Home Rule ensured that he remained a controversial figure for many years right up to his death in the 1930s.  Through his father’s family of Cunninghame Graham, descended from King Robert II of Scotland and the Earls of Menteith, he had a strong territorial connection with the West of Scotland.  On his mother’s side, he had significant Hispanic ties through his Spanish grandmother and a naval grandfather who took part in the South American Wars of Liberation.  His own world-wide travels, particularly in the Americas, Spain and North Africa, and his amazingly wide circle of friends and acquaintances in many countries and different walks of life gave him a cosmopolitan breadth of experience and a depth of insight into human nature and behaviour that would be the envy of any writer.

And it is as a writer that we now have primarily to remember Graham.  His lasting political monuments are the Labour Party and the Scottish National Party, both of which he was deeply involved in founding.  Yet he has to share that credit with others.  His literary works are his alone.  He wrote books of history, travel and biography which were extensively researched but very personal in tone, so that, although highly readable, they might not easily withstand the objective scrutiny of modern scholarship.  Rather it is in his favoured literary forms of the short story, sketch and meditative essay, forms often tending to merge into one another, that Graham excels.  Over forty years, between 1896 and 1936, he published fourteen collections of such short pieces, ranging over many subjects and lands.  With such a wealth of life experience behind him, Graham did not have to dig deep for inspiration.  Probably no other Scottish writer of any age brings such a knowledge and awareness of life’s diversity to the endeavour of literary creation.  However, the quality of his achievement has not as yet been fully assessed.  One reason is not hard to find.  There has never yet been a proper bringing together of Graham’s separate collections into a manageable edition to provide the essential tools for critical study.  Consequently literary attention has never been really focused on him, something for which the climate of twentieth-century Scottish, and British, critical fashion is partly responsible.  Neither the Modernist movement nor the Scottish Renaissance seems to be an appropriate pigeonhole for Graham to inhabit.  He has instead had to suffer the consequences of being too readily stereotyped.  Perhaps entranced by the glamour of his apparent flamboyant persona of ‘Don Roberto’, the Spanish hidalgo, the Argentine gaucho, the Scottish laird, the horseman - adventurer, a succession of editors have republished incomplete collections of stories and sketches selected more to reinforce an image of Graham as larger-than-life legend rather than as the serious literary man he worked hard to be.

The purpose of this series is to make Graham’s literary corpus available in a convenient format to modern readers as he originally intended it.  Each collection of stories is kept intact, and they appear in chronological order with Graham’s own footnotes, and retaining his personal idiosyncrasies and eccentricities of language and style.  It is not the intention of the editors to make magisterial judgements of quality or to present a fully annotated critical edition of the stories.  These purposes would go far beyond the bounds of this series in space and time, and must remain as tasks for future scholars.  We merely hope that a new generation of general readers will discover Graham’s short stories and sketches to be interesting and stimulating for their own sake and in their own right, diverse and revealing of a strong and generally sympathetic personality, a richly-stocked original mind and an ironic, realistic yet sensitive observer of the amazing variety of life in a very wide world.

The Cunninghame Grahame Society

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Title Author ISBN UK Price US Price
Photographed on the Brain: Collected Stories and Sketches Volume 1 Cunninghame Graham, R.B. With Introductions by Alan MacGillivray and John C. McIntyre. 1849211000 £16.95 $25.00
Living With Ghosts:: Collected Stories and Sketches Volume 2 Cunninghame Graham, R.B. With Introductions by Alan MacGillivray and John C. McIntyre. 1849211019 £16.95 $25.00
Ice House of the Mind: Collected Stories and Sketches Volume 3 Cunninghame Graham, R.B. With Introductions by Alan MacGillivray and John C. McIntyre. 1849211027 £16.95 $25.00
Fire from a Black Opal: Collected Stories and Sketches Volume 4 Cunninghame Graham, R.B. With Introductions by Alan MacGillivray, John C. McIntyre and James N. Alison. 1849211035 £16.95 $25.00
A Ring upon the Sand: Collected Stories and Sketches Volume 5 Cunninghame Graham, R.B. With Introductions by Alan MacGillivray and John C. McIntyre. 1849211043 £16.95 $25.00

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