Glasgow with a Flourish by Michael Meighan provides short biographies of 32 of Glasgow's notable citizens, mostly from the past century and a half. As the author says in his introduction: "Those I have chosen are by no means all those with a flourish. It is mostly my own personal selection, featuring names I grew up with, or whom my parents and their generation talked about; people like Will Fyffe and Tommy Lorne, hugely famous in their time and all but forgotten now. When my interest in Glasgow started me off on a quest to discover those people who have made Glasgow flourish, I suppose it was inevitable that I would look at them in terms of what made them the kind of people who are remembered as great Glaswegians."
Glasgow grew dramatically during the 1800s to become Scotland's largest city and the second city of the British Empire, and it did so largely as a result of the imagination and sheer hard work of those who lived there. During the period covered, there were probably hundreds of people in Glasgow whose achievements or personalities might qualify them for inclusion in a book such as this, and no two of us would ever make the same selection. What makes "Glasgow with a Flourish" such an enjoyable book is that the author is very clear about the reasons for his selection, and his own interactions with his subjects' stories becomes an important part of the telling of those stories. This is a book written by someone with a deep and obvious passion for Glasgow, and that helps bind together what might otherwise appear a collection of unrelated biographies.
Some of those covered would probably be on many people's lists of Glasgow notables. Tom Honeyman established a world class art gallery; Hugh Robertson founded a leading choir; and Thomas Lipton a commercial empire. Inventors like Charles Eggar (the police box) and James Young (the world's first oil refinery) also feature, as do figures from the world of entertainment such as Glen Daly, Jimmy Logan and Lonnie Donegan. And the contributions of the fairer half of the population are not overlooked, with the inclusion of artist Hanna Frank, and Ella Glaister, author of the Glasgow Cookery Book.