There are small paraffin-oil-lamp towns in many parts of the country for which Mr Swan is Fairy Godmother, perpetual Grand Plenipotentiary, and Deputy Providence. Half of his time in Glasgow is taken up with the execution of countless petty commissions for his rural customers and their friends, the selection and purchase of goods quite out of his drapery line. Jimmy Swan, the enigmatic commercial traveller, is another classic comic character from the pen of Neil Munro, the master Scottish humorist. The result of Swan's experiences is a wonderfully entertaining collection, allowing the reader a marvellous insight into daily life in the West of Scotland at the turn of the century. Each story is brimful of local and period detail and the editors have provided a full set of notes explaining those historical, cultural, biographical, linguistic and geographical references which may not be obvious to the twenty-first century reader - but which would have been very familiar from the news pages of their daily papers to the early twentieth-century reader.
In addition a full introduction is given, setting these Glasgow tales in their context and providing information about their author, Neil Munro.
Neil Munro was born in 1863. He followed a career in journalism, eventually becoming editor of the Glasgow Evening News. He achieved great success as a poet and novelist, writing masterpieces of historical fiction such as John Splendid and The New Road as well as the humorous tales of Para Handy, Erchie and Jimmy Swan. Neil Munro died in 1930.
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