Sorley MacLean


by Peter Mackay


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.

Sorley MacLean was born on the island of Raasay in 1911. He was brought up within a family and community immersed in Gaelic language and culture, particularly song. He studied English at Edinburgh University from 1929, taking a first-class honours degree. Despite this influence, he eventually adopted Gaelic as the medium most appropriate for his poetry. He translated much of his own work into English, opening it up to a wider public. He fought in North Africa during World War II, before taking up a career in teaching, holding posts on Mull, in Edinburgh and finally as Head Teacher at Plockton High School. Amongst other awards and honours, he received the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 1990. He died in 1996 at the age of 85.

Paperback: 175 pages

Publisher: AHRC Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies, 2010

Language: English

Product Dimensions: 14.8 x 1.1 x 21 cm

2 in stock

SKU: 9781906108113 Categories: , ,