In this collection of fifty-one tales from the land of galloway, Alan Temperley pays tribute to the great Scottish tradition of storytelling. The tales are wide-ranging: heros, ghosts and solway smugglers; witches, martyrs, mermaids and fairies; reivers, monsters and colourful rogues. Here are Billy Marshall, King of the tinklers; Sawney Bean, the murderous cannibal; young Robert the Brube on the run in the heather; Trost, last of the Picts, who kept the secret of heather ale; the legend of Mons Meg; Claverhouse and Lagg, persecutors of the Covenanters; the famous poterguist of Rerrick; and many more.
Simply told and unadorned, the stories bear the flavour of the region – mountain and forest, silver rivers and lochs, the wild Solway Firth, and some of the most beautiful rolling countryside in Britain. Originally these traditional tales – ranging from rustic comedy to horrific murder – were told in crofts and rural cottages. They grew naturally out of the rich past and the land and the lives of the people – wonderful stories. And they are still as alive today as when they were first told.