This is the first book to examine the work of Austin Clarke (1896-1974) in the light of modern critical and theoretical perspectives. Clarke was one of Ireland's major writers whose career was devoted as much to fiction, drama and autobiography as to poetry.
Kit Fryatt assesses Clarke's work in its entirety but focuses on key works which reveal how resourcefully Clarke explored themes such as the coherence of the personality, the inner lives of women and the roots of repression.Book Details
This is the first monograph wholly devoted to the poetry of Medbh McGuckian and it presents pathways into her work that have thus far remained largely unexplored. The chapters examine the ways in which McGuckian uses literary exemplars to explore the psychodramas of female literary authorship and ways of approaching issues of memory, trauma and elegiac remembrance.
This monograph provides an excellent introduction to McGuckian’s poetry and argues that her work self-reflexively presents a deeply felt belief in the primacy (and efficacy) of poetry in the modern world.Book Details
Sorley MacLean (1911-1996) was the greatest Gaelic poet of the 20th Century and one of the leading figures in the Scottish literary Renaissance. He is best known for his love poetry, for poems written while he was serving in Africa during the Second World War, forpoems exploring place and history, and for the long political poem ‘An Cuilithionn’. His 1943 Dàin do Eimhir agus Dàin Eile is generally regarded the single-most important book published in Gaelic in the last century.
This book offers the first single authored English language introduction to MacLean’s work. It places MacLean’s poetry in poetic, political and historical contexts, exploring its engagement with Gaelic traditions and other language literatures and also with contemporary philosophical and political movements. Discussing the entirety of MacLean’s oeuvre – and offering in-depth case studies of individual poems and groups of poems – this introduction raises questions about translation and cultural ownership in modern Scotland, and shows how and why MacLean’s work continues to resonate.Book Details
Adam Ferguson (1723-1816) was among the Scottish Enlightenment’s most influential philosophers as well as one of its most colourful and engaging characters. His pioneering contributions to the development of political economy and social theory have long been acknowledged—though, unfortunately, they have also often been misrepresented. At the same time, it is clear that the significance both of his professional activities as a distinguished university teacher in Edinburgh and of his status as one of the eighteenth century’s foremost historians of the Roman republic has been insufficiently appreciated. This innovative study of Ferguson’s life and ideas sets out to introduce this much-misunderstood figure to a new and wider audience. Paying particular attention to the powerful intellectual currents which converged so fruitfully in his writings, it explores the deep Scottish and European roots of Ferguson’s thought and assesses the continuing pertinence of some of his arguments about the origins and nature of society for an understanding of the modern world.Book Details
James Boswell (1740-95) has gone down in history as the biographer of Samuel Johnson, a sexual adventurer, a toadying Scot, and as a writer who typified the divided consciousness of the Scottish eighteenth century. Before the discovery and (since 1950) publication of his private papers, critics often saw him as a bit of a fool, whose achievement was primarily that of being lucky enough to be the friend and amanuensis of the most famous Englishman of his day. More recently, the stature of Boswell’s achievement and his complexity as a writer have been better appreciated, but without adequate understanding of his role as a specifically Scottish author and thinker of the age of Enlightenment: in particular, his anxious critique of Humean scepticism is discussed here. This study examines, through a close reading of both published and unpublished materials, how Boswell deliberately sets out to write ambiguously about himself and the major events of his time; how, far from echoing Johnson, Boswell improves on his sayings and teasingly criticizes him; and how Boswell’s political and religious sympathies with Jacobitism, Scotland and Catholicism coloured the way in which he understood his own, and his country’s, uncertain place in the new world of British imperial opportunity.Book Details