James Leslie Mitchell, 'Lewis Grassic Gibbon' (1901-35), was born and brought up in the rich farming land of Scotland's North-East coast. After a brief journalistic career, he joined the Royal Army Service Corps in 1919, serving in Persia, India and Egypt before he spent six years as a clerk in the RAF. He married Rebecca Middleton in 1925, and became a full-time writer in 1929. He was a prolific writer of novels, short stories and essays and had seventeen full length books published before his untimely death at the age of thirty-four. He adopted his maternal grandmother's name for his Scottish work including A Scots Quair: Sunset Song, Cloud Howe and Grey Granite. An unfinished novel, The Speak of the Mearns, was published posthumously in 1982.