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Para Handy by Neil Munro

Para Handy

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March 2011 Guest Editor Robert Goddard on Para Handy...

Between 1905 and his retirement from journalism in 1924, Neil Munro produced 99 short stories for the Glasgow Evening News about the mishaps and misadventures of Para Handy and the crew of the Vital Spark. Ferrying assorted cargoes, some of them living, between Glasgow and the West Highland ports, Para, Dougie the mate, MacPhail the engineer and Sunny Jim the cook (in succession to The Tar) will welcome you aboard whenever you want to escape to their world within a world of scrapes, japes, disagreements and surprising discoveries. As Para himself would say, it’s “chust sublime.”


Para Handy by Neil Munro

Para Handy has been sailing his way into the affections of generations of Scots since he first weighed anchor in the pages of the Glasgow Evening News nearly a hundred years ago. The Master Mariner and his crew - Dougie the Mate, Macphail the Engineer, Sunny Jim and The Tar - all play their part in evoking the irresistible atmosphere of a bygone age when puffers sailed between West Highland ports and the great city of Glasgow. This definitive edition contains all three collections published in the author's lifetime, as well as a new story never previously published. Extensive notes accompany each story, providing fascinating insights into colloquialisms, place-names and historical events. This volume also includes a wealth of contemporary photographs, depicting the harbours, steamers and puffers from the age of the Vital Spark. This edition includes one further story, which was discovered in 2001.


'... will delight readers old and new' - Scots Magazine

'A fine collection from Birlinn... really well-presented, introduced and edited... light-hearted but exemplary in scholarship... a delightful large volume' - Douglas Gifford, Books in Scotland

About the Author

Neil Munro was born in 1863. He followed a career in journalism, eventually becoming editor of the Glasgow Evening News. He achieved great success as a poet and novelist, writing masterpieces of historical fiction such as John Splendid and The New Road as well as the humorous tales of Para Handy, Erchie and Jimmy Swan. Neil Munro died in 1930.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st April 2002


Neil Munro

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Birlinn Ltd an imprint of Birlinn General


462 pages


Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites

Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
Short stories



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