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Garry MacKenzie

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With its vibrant cities and breathtaking landscapes, Scotland has captivated writers and visitors for centuries and inspired a diverse range of literature, from the religious poems carved on the rocks of its sacred monuments to the seedy urban novels of Irvine Welsh. For Robert Burns, Scotland's iconic poet, the culture of his native country was a fertile ground for his imagination. Sir Walter Scott drew on the nation's past, and on the stirring mountains and lochs of the Highlands, as he pioneered the historical novel. Some of the most famous early literary tourists, including James Boswell, Samuel Johnson, and Dorothy and William Wordsworth, wrote captivating accounts of their travels in Scotland. This enthralling guide gets under the skin of the country through the writers who lived in or visited Scotland, as well as those who simply imagined it in their work - from Shakespeare, Ben Jonson and the Scots 'Makars' of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, to Keats, Coleridge and Robert Louis Stevenson; from Gaelic bards and anonymous balladeers to the cosmopolitan Hugh MacDiarmid, Jackie Kay, Ian Rankin and Kathleen Jamie.Famous figures sit alongside writers sometimes overlooked by literary travellers, and through their lives and words we experience the rich, fractious and passionate story of Scottish culture and discover how Scotland's history, landscape and society are brought to life in literature.

Author Info

Garry MacKenzie holds a PhD in English from St Andrews, where his supervisors were the Scottish poets Robert Crawford and John Burnside. MacKenzie has also been awarded the Tom Durrheim Prize for 'exceptional talent in the study of Scottish poetry' and the St Leonard's Prize Research Lectures award, through which he gave a series of public lectures based on his PhD research.


‘cogent and lucidly written...the chronology is broad but accurate...the best bits about MacKenzie’s book are the bits where we see ourselves as others see us’ - Stuart Ross, Spectator

‘succeeds in being evocative and affectionate...MacKenzie takes his reader on a long and rewarding walk across Scotland. His range of references is wide, and presented with passion and without pretensions’ - Mike Gonzalez, Review 31

‘MacKenzie is well informed and wears his research benignly...a diverting and informative book’ - Alan Taylor, Times Literary Supplement

 'Clear, concise, and companionable, the prose is engagingly readable and the learning worn with admirable lightness. Garry MacKenzie's Scotland is a delight.' - Robert Crawford, author of Scotland's Books and The Bard: Robert Burns, the Biography


Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.
Series: Literary Guides for Travellers

ISBN: 9781784536411
Publication Date: 29 Jun 2016
Number of Pages: 272
Height: 198
Width: 129
Illustrations: 20 bw integrated, 1 map

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