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A Supplement to Alliborne's Dictionary (1891, pp. 349–350), as quoted in Folklore, gives the following biographical information:
b. 1843, at Stromness, Orkney Islands, of an old Norse family, in early life was engaged in commercial pursuits in Glasgow and London, but relinquished these to engage in journalism and literature; he edited several Scotch provincial newspapers, 1871-79, and is a writer for the Glasgow Herald, Evening Times, &c. He has given particular attention to Oriental fiction and folklore, and contributed to Sir R. F. Burton's "Supplemental Arabian Nights" analogues and variants of some of the tales in vols. I-III.
- Arabian Poetry for English Readers
- Flowers from a Persian Garden and Other Papers
- Book of Wise Sayings: Selected Largely from Eastern Sources
- The Book of Noodles: Stories Of Simpletons; Or, Fools And Their Follies
- The Book of Sindibad, 1884, 300 privately printed copies.
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