John Wilson was an Inspector of Schools during the latter half of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth. His career in education spanned 50 years, during which time he inspected many schools in the Highlands and Islands, including Jura, Islay, Orkney, Argyll, Heisker and Iona. First published in 1928, the personal account of his experiences is both compassionate and humorous, providing a valuable insight into the social and educational conditions in the Gaelic Highlands and Islands following the 1872 Education Act.
John Wilson was born in Dufftown in Banffshire, and brought up in Keig in Aberdeenshire. He was educated at Moray House Free Church Training College and Edinburgh University. He worked as Headmaster of Duffus Public School in Morayshire until, in 1882, he joined the inspectorate. He retired shortly before the publication of Tales and Travels of a School Inspector.