Ian Macpherson (1905-1944) was born in Forres and educated at Newtonmore, Laurencekirk and Mackie Academy, Stonehaven. He graduated from Aberdeen University in 1928 with a first class honours degree in English. He spent the next two years writing his first novel Shephard's Calendar which was published in 1931. This book, which has been compared to Grassic Gibbon's Sunset Song, draws on a rural background to tell of a young man's growth to maturity in a farming community dominated by hard toil and the influence of the seasons. Macpherson continued to live in his native north east, working at farming, broadcasting and writing. In the next five years he produced three further novels, including Land of Our Fathers (1933) and Pride in the Valley (1936), which are set in Speyside. His last book, Wild Harbour (1936), is also set in the Highlands, but it tells of the world detroyed by a future war, forebodings of which were already discernible in Europe. Ian Macpherson died in a motorcycle accident in 1944.