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William Alexander - (1826-1894) - Novelist

He was born in Chapel of Garioch, Aberdeenshire, in 1826 and was given a rudimentary education at the parish school. He worked as a farm-boy and ploughman until a farming accident in his early 20s caused him to have a leg amputated. Unable to work on the land he moved to Aberdeen, where he tried to earn a living from journalism. Although his early attempts brought only a modest income, he persevered with his writing and enjoyed his first success with the serialization between 1869 and 1870 in the Aberdeen Free Press of his novel Johnny Gibb of Gushetneuk. With its scenes of country life and manners, told both in English and a vigorous, racy Scots, it enjoyed a wide popularity and was published in book form in 1871. Alexander lived to become editor of the newspaper that had given him so much encouragement and he continued to write in the vein that had brought him success. Johnny Gibb of Gushetneuk was reprinted several times during Alexander's lifetime; his other work of note is Sketches of Life Among my Ain Folk (187 5).
Works; Johnny Gibb of Gushetneuk (1871); Sketches of Life Among my Ain Folk (1875); Notes and Sketches (1876); Twenty-Five Years: a Personal Retrospect (1878); with J. G. Mackie, Memoir of the Late Andrew Jervie, (1879); Mrs Garden: a Memorial Sketch (1887);
The Making of Aberdeenshire (1888)

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