Series editor: Colin Affleck.
Colin Affleck is Fred Urquhart's Literary Executor, and is working on a Biography of Urquhart.
In The Scotsman,(27 September, 1980), Alan Massie wrote "...Mr Urquhart is a writer whose range is unequalled by anyone working in Scotland today."
In his 13 volumes of short stories and four novels, Fred Urquhart (1912-95)left one of the most enjoyable bodies of work in Scottish Literature; but his work is also profoundly serious in its exploration of the lives of the poor and vulnerable, children and old people, and particularly women. From the 1930s until the 1950s, he was regarded as one of the leading British short story writers. His stories appeared in the best literary magazines, including the London Mercury,Horizon and Tribune. They could also be found in more unlikely places, such as The Sunday Post and Woman's Own. Throughout his career much of his work was read on BBC radio. However, with changes in the market for short stories, and with an increasing split between English and Scottish literature, he was seen more in his later years as a specifically Scottish writer, despite living in England from 1944 to 1991.
The subjects of his stories and novels also changed. To begin with, he dealt mainly with the Scottish urban working class. Working during the Second World War on a farm near Laurencekirk led him to add realistic depictions of rural life in the north-east of Scotland to his repertoire. In both cases he used authentic Scots dialogue in a masterly way. Later he branched out into historical fiction and ghost stories. The Fred Urquhart Collection will allow readers once again to engage with the full range of this great and unjustly neglected writer.
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