Lewis Grassic Gibbon

(James Leslie Mitchell)

1901 - 1935

Journalist turned author, best known for his trilogy "Sunset Song", "Cloud Howe" and "Grey Granite". Born on the farm of Hillhead of Seggat near Kirktown of Auchterless (Aberdeenshire), before moving with his family to Arbuthnott. He left to work as a journalist in Aberdeen, Glasgow then London, before settling in Welwyn Garden City (Hertfordshire).

His writing was rooted in the local area of his birth, known as The Mearns, in what had been the old county of Kincardineshire. His communist sympathies ensured his books criticised the land-owners and the clergy. His writing made him most unpopular in the Mearns across the social spectrum, where even the working people regarded their exposure in his books with embarrassment. Even his mother regarded him with suspicion, constantly deprecating his success and encouraging him to "get a proper job".

Gibbon had an acute sense of social perception and was also remarkably prolific, writing 17 books in just seven years under both his pseudonym and his own name. He worked himself to death, and was already signed up to his publishers to write a further million words when he died. He is buried in Arbuthnott churchyard.

There is now a Lewis Grassic Gibbon Centre in Arbuthnott.

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