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2 Scottish Studies Newsletter 40, November 2012 Scottish Studies ...

2 Scottish Studies Newsletter 40, November 2012 Scottish Studies ...

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27 the more controversial aspects of recent debates on Scottish culture draws together contributions from leading researchers in a wide variety of disciplines, resulting in a highly accessible yet authoritative volume. This book, like tartan, weaves together two strands. The first, like a warp, considers the significance of tartan in Scottish history and culture during the last four centuries, including tartan's role in the development of diaspora identities in North America. The second, like a weft, considers the place of tartan and rise of tartanry in the national and international representations of Scottishness, including heritage, historical myth-making, popular culture, music hall, literature, film, comedy, rock and pop music, sport and 'high' culture. From Tartan to Tartanry offers fresh insight into and new perspectives on key cultural phenomena, from the iconic role of the Scottish regiments to the role of tartan in rock music. It argues that tartan may be fun, but it also plays a wide range of fascinating, important and valuable roles in Scottish and international culture. Brown, Rhona, Robert Fergusson and the Scottish Periodical Press, Aldershot: Ashgate 2012 (hardback £60.00) Though Robert Fergusson published only one collection of poems during his lifetime, he was a fixture in the Scottish periodical press. Rhona Brown explores Fergusson's poetic output in its immediate periodical context, enabling a new understanding of Fergusson's contribution to poetry that also enlarges on our understanding of the Scottish periodical press. Focusing on the development of his career in Walter Ruddiman's Weekly Magazine, Brown situates Fergusson's poetry alongside contemporary events that expose Fergusson's preoccupations with the frivolities of fashion, theatrical culture, the economic status of Scottish manufacture, and politics. At the same time, Brown offers fascinating insights into the political climate of Enlightenment Scotland and shows the Weekly Magazine in relationship to the larger Scottish and British periodical milieus. She concludes by exploring reactions to Fergusson's death in the British periodical presses, arguing that contrary to critical consensus, the poet's death was ignored neither by his own country nor by the larger literary community. Carruthers, Gerard / David Goldie / Alastair Renfrew (eds.), Scotland and the 19th-Century World, Amsterdam, New York: Rodopi 2012 (€ 60 / US$ 81) The nineteenth century is often read as a time of retreat and diffusion in Scottish literature under the overwhelming influence of British identity. Scotland and the 19th-Century World presents Scottish literature as altogether more dynamic, with narratives of Scottish identity working beyond the merely imperial. This collection of essays by leading international scholars highlights Scottish literary intersections with North America, Asia, Africa and Europe. James Macpherson, Francis Jeffrey, Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson and John Davidson feature alongside other major literary and cultural figures in this groundbreaking volume. Clarkson, Tim, Columba. Edinburgh: Birlinn 2012 (paperback £14.99) Who was Saint Columba? How did this Irish aristocrat become the most important figure in early Scottish Christianity? In seeking answers to these questions this book examines the different roles played by the saint in life and death, tracing his career in Ireland and Scotland before looking at the development of his cult in later times. Here we encounter not only Columba the abbot and missionary but also Columba the politician and peacemaker. We see him at the centre of a major controversy which led to his excommunication by an Irish synod. We follow him then to Scotland, to Iona, where he founded his principal monastery. It was from this small Hebridean isle that he undertook missionary work among the Picts and had dealings with powerful warrior-kings. It was from Iona, too, that his cult was vigorously promoted Scottish Studies Newsletter 40, November 2012

28 after his death in 597, most famously by Abbot Adomnan, whose writings provide our main source of information on Columba‟s career. The final chapters of the book look at the evolution of the cult of Columba from the seventh century onwards, examining the important roles played by famous figures such as Cinaed mac Ailpin, before ending with a study of the image of the saint in modern Scotland. Clarkson, Tim, The Makers of Scotland, Picts, Romans, Gaels and Vikings, Edinburgh: Birlinn 2012 (paperback £14.99) During the first millennium AD the most northerly part of Britain evolved into the country known today as Scotland. The transition was a long process of social and political change driven by the ambitions of powerful warlords. At first these men were tribal chiefs, Roman generals or rulers of small kingdoms. Later, after the Romans departed, the initiative was seized by dynamic warrior-kings who campaigned far beyond their own borders. Armies of Picts, Scots, Vikings, Britons and Anglo-Saxons fought each other for supremacy. From Lothian to Orkney, from Fife to the Isle of Skye, fierce battles were won and lost. By AD 1000 the political situation had changed for ever. Led by a dynasty of Gaelic-speaking kings the Picts and Scots began to forge a single, unified nation which transcended past enmities. Coira, M. Pía, By Poetic Authority: The Rhetoric of Panegyric in Gaelic Poetry of Scotland to c.1700, Edinburgh: Dunedin Academic Press 2012 (hardback £45.00) Pía Coira presents a comprehensive survey of medieval and early modern Scottish Gaelic poetry and studies the particular form of poetic diction in the extant corpus. Through a fixed set of literary conventions the court poets of the period gave sanction to their patrons‟ leadership, an essential task which served to preserve the cohesion of society. These conventions, known as the panegyric code, were in a large measure borrowed by the more demotic vernacular poets, and indeed permeate all Gaelic literary genres, including annals and chronicles. Originally established in the poetic schools of Ireland, the code adopted some distinct forms in Scotland, reflecting particular social and political developments. This book is the first detailed and systematic collection and classification of the rhetoric of leadership in Scottish Gaelic poetry, from the earliest times to the beginning of the eighteenth century. Because of its social and political function, however, this poetry also reveals much about the society in which it flourished, particularly in respect of issues of Gaelic identity and loyalties, as Gaels, as Scots, and as members of the early-modern kingdom of Britain. Particularly helpful features of the book are its careful analysis of the „panegyric code‟, including its composition and employment; its divergences from the established conventions received from the schools of Ireland; its discussion of issues of sovereignty, loyalties and identities as reflected in the poetry; and a novel systematic classification of Scottish kindreds (clans) according to their own genealogical claims. The book will prove an invaluable resource for those studying Celtic, Gaelic and Scottish literature and history of the medieval and early modern periods. Crofton, Ian, A Dictionary of Scottish Phrase and Fable, Edinburgh: Birlinn 2012 (hardback £25.00) This authoritative, entertaining and eminently browsable reference book, arranged in easily accessible A–Z format, is an absorbing and imaginative feast of Scottish lore, language, history and culture, from the mythical origins of the Scots in Scythia to the contemporary Scotland of the Holyrood parliament and Trainspotting. Here Tartan Tories rub shoulders with Torry girls, the Misery from the Manse exchanges a nod with Stalin‟s Granny, Thomas the Rhymer and the Wizard of Reay walk hand in hand with Bible John, and the reader is taken Scottish Studies Newsletter 40, November 2012

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