George Gilfillan (1813–78), born in Perthshire, was educated in Glasgow and served as minister at the School-Wynde Church in Dundee from 1836 until his death. In 1844, he published a series of articles for the Dumfries Herald critically profiling living authors. The following year, the series was collected as A Gallery of Literary Portraits. The immediate success of the Gallery prompted Gilfillan to devote much of his time to literary interests. His voluminous publications included biographies, essays, newspaper articles, and poetry (Watson and Watson, pp. 462–7). He also maintained his congregation, although on a number of occasions his more liberal perspective clashed with official church doctrine. His views were twice officially examined by the presbytery, but he was cleared of violating accepted doctrine (Watson and Watson, pp. 116, 433–6).