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Introduction to Scottish Literature

Class at Faculty of Arts |


1. Feb 18-Introductory Session 2. Feb 25h-Medieval Scottish Literature- The Scottish Chaucerians and The Reformation

Texts: The Testament of Cressid/The Tretis of the Twa Mariit Wemen and the Wedo/The Flyting of Dumbar and Kennedie/The Cherry and the Sloe/The Lament for the Makaris/ 3. Mar 4- The Decline of Drama :A Satire of the Three Estates- Sir David Lyndsay and Early Drama.

Texts: George Buchanan-Elegy for John Calvin/Arthur Johnston- Edinburgh/Glasgow/Sir David Lyndsay-The Satire of the Three Estates/ John Knox-On Rebellion/First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women 4. Mar 11- Other Tongues: Latin Verse and the Shift to English. Ballads George Buchanan and Arthur Johnson 5.Mar18-   Pre- Romanticism- Burns - Tam O'Shanter/To a mouse/Ae fond kiss +various verse epistles (texts will be posted to Dropbox) 6. Mar 25: Scottish Romanticism

Sir Walter Scott-Waverley (Extracts only) the Lay of the Last Minstrel

James Hogg-The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (Extracts only) 7. Apr 1: Scottish Victorian Literature

Texts: R.L Stevenson- Jekyll& Hyde , JM.Barrie-Peter Pan, George MacDonald Faery Stories, James Thomson City of Dreadful Night 8.  Apr 8: Female Voices-Woman Writers in the 19th/20th C

Margaret Oliphant -Miss Marjoribanks , Mary Brunton-Self-control/Discipline, Marion Angus-Alas, Poor queen! Violet Jacob-Flemington. 9. Apr 15 : The Scottish Literary Renaissance and Modernism

Texts: T.S.Eliot- Was There a Scottish Literature?(The Athenaeum,1919)

Hugh MacDiarmid- A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle/On a Raised Beach/The Watergaw 10. Apr 22 -20th C Scottish Dramatic Revivals

Texts:- Mary Queen of Scots got her Head Chopped off- Liz Lochhead, The Seal Wife-Sue Glover, The Cheviot ,The Stag and the Black, Black Oil-John McGrath, Dunsinane-David Greig,Black Watch-Gregory Burke(Extracts to be provided on Dropbox) 11. Apr 29– Interventions

Texts: Alasdair Gray-Lanark, James Kelman- How Late it was, How Late, Irvine Welsh-Filth, Janice Galloway- The Trick is to Keep Breathing, Alan Warner-Morvern Callar, Emma Tenant-Faustine 12. May 6- “Stands Scotland Where it Did?”-Speculations on the Future.

Texts: The Wasp Factory-Ian Banks, Ken MacLeod-The Human Front, Michel Faber-Under the Skin, James Robertson-And the Land Lay Still. 13. May 13-Course Conclusion. Final Essay Submissions and Final Admin.


Course Tutor: Colin S Clark MA

Office Hours: Monday 1100 -1200(via Zoom at present)

Email: /

Course Zoom link:

This course is designed as a primer in the key texts and movements in Scottish Literature. Covering major authors from the 16 to 21st centuries, it provides students with a basic feel for the texture, themes and distinctiveness of literature in Latin, English, Scots and Gaelic in Scotland. Students are exposed to a variety of Scottish texts, ancient and modern spanning 500 years of the nation's literature. Reading is compulsory and students will expect to cover approximately one of the listed texts (selected with brevity in mind) per week.

Study programmes