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Hector MacMillan Technician     Playwright     Luthier Honorary President: Scottish Society of Playwrights

Honorary Fellow: Association For Scottish Literary Studies

“If we investigate only by physical and chemical means, we can only get physical and chemical answers.”

Sir Alister Hardy, FRS

Handful of Rogues

Written on spec. Published by Argyll Publishing, Glendaruel, 2005.
[ISBN 1902831896]

Two centuries after his death, Scots historians still having failed to deal with the story of Thomas Muir, the research I had done for a historical novel was redirected into this work. Neither a biography nor a conventional piece of historiography, it is a partially-speculative piece of writing aimed at breaking a log-jam.

After the book was published, a Scot living in France brought to my attention a recent work about another important figure of the period, only briefly mentioned in Handful of Rogues. The story of John Oswald, with Muir and many others in Paris a “citizen of the world”, is told in Commerce des Lumieres, David V. Erdman, University of Missouri Press, 1986. [ISBN 0-8262-0607-7].

Important to Scots history as Oswald is, this first biography is again not the work of a historian. It had to wait till Erdman, Professor Emeritus of English at the State University of New York, could find time in retirement to bring years of research to fruition.

Both Muir and Oswald are key figures in a much neglected period of our history.

“passionate portrayal of the Scottish reformers clustered around Thomas Muir of Huntershill in the late 18th century” The Scotsman

“history written from a new and Scottish perspective .. the first book on Muir that has been properly researched” Scottish Review of Books.

“political and historical analyst of very great ability” Glasgow Herald