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David Toulmin - A Chiel Amang Them

ToulminAuthor and farm labourer, David Toulmin began his life as John Reid. Hugely popular in North East Scotland in the sixties and seventies his books frequently sold out in the region and borrowing them from the library could mean joining a lengthy waiting list. Toulmin knew the farming world intimately and brought it and the language of his native land to life in his novels and collections of short stories.

David Toulmins life and work are celebrated by the Scots Language Centre. In recently recovered film from the mid seventies Toulmin talks extensively about his life and work. And in an interview with Isobel Murray, Toulmin discusses his childhood, his love of literature and his feeling for the native language of the farming community he grew up in.

Toulmins life is celebrated in a short story writing competition that is supported by the Elphinstone Institute and Leopard magazine. Last years winning entry, Sae Mony Summers, by Eleanor Fordyce has been recorded and you can listen to it exclusively at the Scots Language Centre. You can read the story at

Thanks are due to the following for making this feature possible: Lindy Cheyne and Ian Hamilton from Leopard magazine, Dr Ian Russell and Dr Tom McKean of the Elphinstone Institute, Aberdeen, Professor Isobel Murray, Professor Paul Dukes and Dr Colin Milton of Aberdeen University.

Online bookseller, Books from Scotland, is also celebrating Toulmins life and work. Visit them at

Leopard Magazine

Scottish Writers Talking

Elphinstone Institute

Toulmin obituary at the Scotsman

Charles Barrons play aboot Toulmin