Founded in 2014 to promote the works of Scottish novelist Samuel Rutherford Crockett, dubbed Scotland’s ‘Forgotten Bestseller’ who published 60 novels, (many following magazine serialisation) 6 short story collections. Around half his writing is set in Galloway with the rest often set in Europe, particularly France and Spain where he spent a considerable part of his adult life. His publishing life spans from 1893 to his death in 1914. His unique brand of history, adventure and romance is appealing to those who enjoy Stevenson, those who may find Scott rather heavy going, and all who love a fast paced story. He excels at natural description.
Set in the early 18th century on the Solway Coast and inland to the Galloway hills, his best known novel was his debut, The Raiders (1894) This is actually the second part of a trilogy.
Start with Kit Kennedy. This semi autobiographical novel of growing up in Galloway/Edinburgh in mid 1870s is packed with humour and small detail about rural life.
Biographical/critical. In his lifetime, Crockett and Grey Galloway by Malcolm McLachlan Harper. Posthumously, S.R.Crockett Life and Works, a literary biography by Dr Donaldson (1989) was republished in 2016. For a flavour of his work try Discovering Crockett’s Galloway by Cally Phillips.
There is no easy one click option to buy his physical books. His works have long been out of print but were brought back in paperback format for a decade by Ayton Publishing. Now it is possible to download all his work in digital format for free from The Galloway Raiders.
Hardback: To find his books in hardback (second hand) try Abe Books. The more well known titles are relatively easy to source, but many are rarer.
Paperback: For paperback books (especially Print on Demand) be very careful. There are many poor editions out there, often bad digital scans. Trusted is the 2014 ‘Galloway Collection’ published by Ayton Publishing. These are no longer available via retailers but can be obtained direct from Galloway Raiders
Digital: For free digital downloads (PDF) go to the S.R.Crockett archive site (Complete Crockett)