Home to Strathblane (1993) and Strathblane & Away (1996), Argyll Publishing by Helen Lillie

literature, Poetry, Song & Literature

Helen Lillie grew up in Strathblane at Blue Risk, the house on the corner of Milndavie Road and Old Mugdock Road, demolished in 2022 to make way for two large villas. (Her family were the Lillies of the Lillie Art Gallery in Milngavie.) She attended Glasgow University and became a writer and journalist, spending most of her adult life in the US. For more than two decades her popular column, Washington Letter, appeared each week in The Glasgow Herald. She returned to her native turf in her imagination after being diagnosed with cancer and produced historical novels, Home to Strathblane in 1993 and Strathblane & Away in 1996. The story begins in the late 18th century. Lillie’s original hero, Walter Paterson, is an idealistic émigré from the French Revolution when he arrives in Strathblane. In the sequel, Dr Douglas Stewart, a more controversial character, takes over and the action moves between Strathblane and America. She published her autobiography, A New Kind of Life (Argyll Publishing 1999). Though now out of print, copies of Helen Lillie’s books are often available in libraries or online. The author died in 2003.

Home to Strathblane by Helen Lillie
ISBN10: 1874640408 / ISBN13: 9781874640400
Published by Argyll Publishing, Scotland, 1993

Strathblane and Away by Helen Lillie
ISBN-10: 1874640475 / ISBN-13: 9781874640479
Published by Argyll Publishing, Scotland, 1996


The Braes of Strathblane (Anon)

This is a typical “Broadside Ballad”, printed on a single sheet of cheap paper, often with a woodcut illustration, as here. They were a common form of printed material in the 19th century. This one was published by James Lindsay between 1860 and 1880. Firmly based in...

The Poetry of Murray O’Donnell

Murray O’Donnell was the embodiment of a “man o’pairts”. Panto dame, dramatist, local historian, bowler, mason, mechanic, family man and friend to those in need. The list could go on much further. He was born in Ballewan Crescent, Blanefield in 1943 to Winifred and...

Revisiting Strathblane (1881) by William T McAuslane

This poem was first printed in the Lennox Herald on 10 September 1881 and was “inscribed to AP Coubrough Esq, Blanefield Printworks”. McAuslane was clearly a friend of the Coubroughs, who owned the Printworks. It may be intended to voice the thoughts of Anthony Park...

The Poems of Thomas Thorpe

The poet Thomas Thorpe was born on 9 March, 1829 in Milton, Dunbartonshire, son of a block printer at the local works. When he was five, he moved with his family to Strathblane. One of his earliest childhood memories was being with his sisters in a wood where wild...