We offer free downloads of the book "The Lass of Lennox" on the website. Not having any information about the author we did some research and found more about him from the book "The poets of Ayrshire from the fourteenth century till the present day, with selections from their writings (1910)". The text from this book is listed below.

"James Strang was born in Ayr, but spent his early years in the Vale of Leven, close to the "bonnie, bonnie banks o'Loch Lomond." He began his career in Glasgow, but migrated to London in 1889, having then already made his mark in the literary world as a writer of magazine articles and verse. In March of that year, just before leaving for the Metropolis, he married Ellen Vallance, third daughter of the late Alexander Vallance, Glengyron, Cumnock.

In the Empire's capital Mr Strang gradually pushed himself to the front. For several years he was London correspondent to the "Dumbarton" and "Lennox Heralds", while later he became, in addition, a London Letter writer to the "Glasgow Herald" and "Edinburgh Evening News", while he was also on the literary staff of the " Herald " as a reviewer. In addition, he wrote largely for several of the leading London newspapers, and was a frequent contributor to the principal magazines. Notwithstanding this press of work, Mr Strang still found time to devote to verse, and became well known as a writer of songs and librettos for cantatas and children's plays. He is the author of two volumes of verse and of a novel entitled "A Lass of Lennox," which met with considerable success.

Always a keen politician, Mr Strang became private secretary to the Solicitor-General for Scotland in Lord Rosebery's administration, and continued to serve with that Minister — as the office is a Government appointment — for two months after Lord Salisbury took office. At the general election of 1900 Mr Strang was unanimously invited by the Liberals of Greenock to stand for Parliamentary honours, but declined owing to a difference of opinion with regard to sugar bounties and countervailing duties. He took an active platform part, however, in the west of Scotland during the election.

In May, 1902, Mr Strang had a bad breakdown in health, and was peremptorily ordered to South Africa by his medical advisers, for which place he sailed in August of that year with his wife and little son, the latter dying in Cradock in July of the following year, to the great grief of his parents. Almost immediately upon landing he was offered, and accepted, the editorship of the "Cradock Observer," which he held till July of 1903, when he was invited to take over the editorship of the " Kroonstad Times," which he accepted, and in which he became a partner two years later.

When Responsible Government was granted to the Orange River Colony, Mr Strang came forward, in response to a largely signed requisition, as Independent candidate for the representation of Kroonstad Town in the House of Assembly. The election took place in November, 1907, when Mr Strang was defeated, by 25 votes only, by a former member of the old Free State Raad, who had been resident in Kroonstad for forty years.

That Mr Strang has had little time for the writing of verse since he went to South Africa will be understood when it is stated that, besides conducting a bi-weekly newspaper, he plays a leading and varied part in the public life of the town in which his lot has been cast. He has been Chief of the Kroonstad Caledonian Society for the last six years, in addition to which he is Chairman of the Sick and Provident Society, Chairman and stage manager of the Amateur Operatic Society, Chairman of the Kroonstad Athletic Club, Chairman of the Cycling and Harriers Club, and member of the Church Council and Library Committee. He took an aqtive part in the movement for South African Union, and was vice-president of the Kroonstad Closer Union Society, and a member of the Union Conference which
met in Johannesburg early in 1909.

Mr Strang proved a vigorous opponent of General Hertzog's Education Act, and was one of the twenty gentlemen invited by General Hertzog from all over the Orange River Colony to meet him at Bloemfontein in November, 1909, to discuss the difficulties and disagreements in connection with the Act, and to endeavour to arrive at a settlement."

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"For those we loved are scattered,
and some in death sleep soun',
and the old oak tree sae bonnie,
has long since been cut doon".

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