Murray Makes His Name

It was the second, expanded edition of Hamewith (1909) which established Murray as the most popular Scots poet of his day. The first, brought out by Aberdeen bookseller and publisher Wyllie and Son in 1900 had mainly local success. The second was published by Constable and Co., a national publishing house, with offices in Edinburgh and London, and had an enthusiastic introduction by Andrew Lang - one of the most influential Scots in British literary life. Lang described Murray's Scots as 'so pure and so rich that it may puzzle some patriots whose sentiments are stronger than their linguistic acquirements.'

The 1909 Hamewith was an immediate success with readers and critics alike. Murray was hailed as the poet who was carrying on the work of predecessors like Stevenson in giving new direction and fresh energy to a Scots verse tradition dominated up to then by backward-looking imitators of Burns.