Literature of Scotland: The Middle Ages to the Nineteenth Century

Literature of Scotland: The Middle Ages to the Nineteenth Century

Paperback Literature of Scotland

By (author) Roderick Watson

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  • Publisher: Palgrave MacMillan
  • Format: Paperback | 408 pages
  • Dimensions: 138mm x 215mm x 22mm | 494g
  • Publication date: 6 March 2007
  • Publication City/Country: Basingstoke
  • ISBN 10: 033366664X
  • ISBN 13: 9780333666647
  • Edition: 2, Revised
  • Edition statement: 2nd Revised edition
  • Illustrations note: 1 map
  • Sales rank: 1,541,557

Product description

Critics hailed the first edition of The Literature of Scotland as one of the most comprehensive and fascinatingly readable accounts of Scottish literature in all three of the country's languages - Gaelic, Scots and English. In this extensively revised and expanded new edition, Roderick Watson traces the lives and works of Scottish writers in a beautiful and rugged country that has been divided by political and religious conflict but united, too, by a democratic and egalitarian ideal of nationhood. The Literature of Scotland: The Middle Ages to the Nineteenth Century follows the story from Barbour to John Davidson, exploring the growth of the idea of a nation from the flowering of the Makars to the early ballads and the oral tradition; from courtly verse to the prose of the Reformation and the rise of the Scottish Enlightenment; from Duncan Ban Macintyre and the great Gaelic poets to the achievement of Robert Burns, Walter Scott, Thomas Carlyle, J. M. Barrie and Robert Louis Stevenson. Each writer is placed in their historical, critical and cultural contexts, and the volume also provides a helpful Further Reading section and chronological timeline, making this the essential guide to Scottish literary history. The literature which followed after the Victorian period is discussed in the companion volume Literature of Scotland: The Twentieth Century.

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Author information

RODERICK WATSON is Professor of English at the University of Stirling, UK, and Director of the Stirling Centre for Scottish Studies.

Review quote

'An excellent resource.' - Caroline McCracken-Flesher, University of Wyoming, USA 'Clear, lucid and accessible.' - Douglas Gifford, University of Glasgow, UK Reviews of the previous edition 'Roderick Watson's The Literature of Scotland is a masterly survey of 600 years of writing in Gaelic, Scots and English. It is accurate in its facts, fair in its judgements, brilliant in its compression and a pleasure to read.' - The Weekend Scotsman 'Roderick Watson has done a notable service to Scottish letters. This is a book which should be in every house in Scotland.' - P. H. Scott, Books in Scotland 'A substantial piece of work, written in a lively, flowing style, which combines clarity with concision. The wealth of detail packed into its less than 500 pages makes it an invaluable addition to the shelves of any scholar wishing to know more about Scotland's long and continuing literary tradition.' - Aonghas MacNeacall, The West Highland Free Press 'An essential reference work.' - James Roberson, Glasgow Herald '...a book of formidable scholarship that can be easily dipped into for specific, sought-after information, yet general reader and specialist alike can read Watson's lucid prose from cover-to-cover with pleasure.' - Scott Lyall, Scottish Studies Review '[Watson]...writes with clarity and detail, avoids over-simplification of complex issues and informs anyone not up to speed on the leading events of the period...When dealing with individual writers within a period or century, Watson writes with enthusiasm and enjoyment as well as critical and cultural insight.' - Allan Ronald, The Use of English

Table of contents

Preface Acknowledgements Map of Scotland Introduction: Renewals, Revivals and Revisions The Beginnings of Scotland: Two Cultures The Fifteenth Century: The Flowering The Sixteenth Century: John the Commonweill The Seventeenth Century: Crown and Covenant, The Ballads The Eighteenth Century: New Athenians and the Doric The Nineteenth Century: History, Industry, Sentiment Chronological Table Further Reading Index