This guide combines detailed literary history with discussion of contemporary debates about Scottishness.
The book considers the rise of Scottish Studies, the development of a national literature, and issues of cultural nationalism. Beginning in the medieval period during a time of nation building, the book goes on to focus on the 'Scots revival' of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries before moving on to discuss the literary renaissance of the twentieth century. Debates concerning Celticism and Gaelic take place alongside discussion of key Scottish writers such as Robert Burns, Walter Scott, Thomas Carlyle, Hugh MacDiarmid, Alasdair Gray and Liz Lochhead. The book also considers migr writers to Scotland; Scottish literature in relation to England, the United States and Ireland; and postcolonialism and other theories that shed fresh light on the current status and future of Scottish literature.