While Alasdair Gray has chosen and edited all the prefaces and has written most of the commentary in this book, he was assisted in this by some 30 authors who have also written commentaries. These include James Kelman, Janice Galloway, A.L. Kennedy, Roger Scruton and Virginia Woolf. The selections start from the 7th century and go on until the early 20th. Also included are Gray's own comments on the notes of the other commentators.
Alasdair Gray has spent sixteen years on this project though he has written and illustrated other books in the meantime, not least the prize-winning novel POOR THINGS and the story-collection, TEN TALES TALL AND TRUE.