A worthy successor to the best-selling Para Handy. One hundred years after he first appeared in print, Erchie brilliantly displays Munro’s gift for humour and characterization as well as providing a marvellous insight into the Scotland of the time. Erchie Macpherson, Glasgow waiter and Kirk Deacon, first appeared in the Glasgow Evening News in February 1902 — nearly three years before the appearance of the better-known Para Handy series. The Erchie stories were an instant success. In 1993 Brian Osborne and Ronald Armstrong produced for Birlinn an edition of the Erchie stories and included 52 stories that had appeared in the News between 1910 and 1926. None of them had ever previously appeared in book form. Recent research by them in the files of the News has produced a further 61 stories, new to book form, which were originally published in 1902-1904 and in 1908-1909. The total Erchie collection is thus an amazing 142 stories, 113 of which never appeared in book form in Munro’s lifetime. Throughout the collection Munro uses Erchie, his wife, Jinnet, and his friend Duffy the coal merchant, three pawky Glasgow characters, to comment on contemporary politics, stories in the news, fashions, sport, and any aspect of daily life that comes under their notice. The range is bewildering — the race for the North Pole, Edward VII’s Coronation, the Olympic Games, flying machines, temperance, Harry Lauder, Robert Burns, tipping, the Fair holidays and Andrew Carnegie are just some of the topics dealt with in the latest batch of stories unearthed from the archive.
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