Donald Carswell - (1882-1939) - Critic
He was a native of Glasgow, where he was educated at Glasgow Academy and later at the University. On graduating he became a journalist with the Glasgow Herald and during World War 1 he moved to London to work for The Times. In 1917 he married Catherine Roxburgh Macfarlane, a fellow journalist from his time in Glasgow. Between them Donald and
Catherine Carswell attempted to earn their living from writing, but Donald's insistence on
revision and on polishing his style lost him several commissions. His painstaking methods
are reflected in the books that he did write: Brother Scots (1927) is an elegant study of
Scots Presbyterianism during the 19th century as reflected the lives of Henry Drummond ,John Stuart Blackie, Keir Hardie, William Robertson Nicoll, William Robertson
Smith (1846-94) and Lord Overtoun (1843 -1908); and Sir Walter: a Four Part Study
in Biography (1930) contains much useful information on the literary background to Scott's
career, with separate essays on James Hogg, John Gibson Lockhart and Joanna Baillie. Shortly before the outbreak of World War II Carswell secured employment as a civil servant. He was killed in a motoring accident in October 1939.
Works: Brother Scots (1927); Sir Walter: a Four Part Study in Biography (1930); Count Albany (1933); Trial of Guy Fawkes and Others (1934); A Virtuous Widow and Others (1940).
To Famous Scots