David Toulmin's first collection of short stories, Hard Shining Corn, published in 1972, immediately established him as a Scottish writer in the same tradition as Lewis Grassic Gibbon, and it could be said that Toulmin has done for Buchan what Grassic Gibbon did for the Mearns, in the sense that Buchan is now sometimes referred to as 'Toulmin country'.
There is vitality, humour and sensitivity in all David Toulmin's short stories, as he graphically describes the lives of the fee'd cottar folk and the farmers; their joys and sorrows, life and death, and the ever-changing seasons of the farming year.
Toulmin's recollections of farm life in his native Buchan were gathered from forty-four years working as a farm labourer in that airt, rearing crops and cattle in a harsh and forbidding climate.
David Toulmin is the pen-name of John Reid, who was born at Rathen in Buchan, Aberdeenshire, in 1913. His father was a farm worker, and at the age of fourteen, John left school to work on the farms as a 'fee'd loon'. He married in 1934.
An interest in writing which began in his schooldays developed into an absorbing hobby and in 1947 his first article was published in a local newspaper. Since then, he has had nine books published; a number of his short stories have been broadcast on the radio and he has made several appearances on television.
In 1986 he was awarded an Honorary Degree as Master of Letters (M. Litt.) by Aberdeen University for his services to Scottish literature.
In December 1992 he was incapacitated by a stroke which ended his writing career and on 13 May 1998 he died at his home in Aberdeen.
His Collected Short Stories were published in 1992.