The author, James Campbell (James Campbell Reddie, 1807-1878), was a Scot who became estranged from his father at age 37. (James disappeared, leaving a large debt outstanding which his father had co-signed.) The elder died eight years later, not knowing whether his son was alive (and leaving him nothing in the will.)
Campbell moved to England at age 42, working first as a typesetter and eventually as a writer and translator.
He is particularly remembered for the erotica he authored and translated. He was also a serious collector and bibliographer of the genre.
In 1877, age 69 and in ill health, he decided to return to Scotland. He sold his erotica collection for what today would be more than $32,000 (US). Included in the sale was his manuscript of bibliographic notes in 3 volumes. He died of palsy the following year.