Academic journal article Scottish Literary Review

Allan Ramsay Special Number: Scottish Literary Review

Academic journal article Scottish Literary Review

Allan Ramsay Special Number: Scottish Literary Review

Article excerpt

It is a pleasure to introduce the first ever journal special number devoted to Allan Ramsay (1684-1758), poet, playwright and founder of modern Scots language writing. A distinguished author in his own right, Ramsay was also arguably the most remarkable cultural entrepreneur in the literary canon: founder of the first subscription library in the British Isles, pioneer of innovation in drama and art education, inventor of the characterisation of Scots as Doric and able user of synthetic Scots.

The essays that follow were the product of a Royal Society of Edinburgh network award on 'Allan Ramsay and Edinburgh in the First Age of Enlightenment' (bit.ly/edinburgh-enlightenment) awarded from 2015 to 2017 to myself as Principal Investigator with an international and interdisciplinary team. Do try out the map! That award in its turn led to plans for two further major developments, a biography of innovation in Edinburgh 1660-17 50, from Edinburgh University Press (Murray Pittock, 'Smart City') and a full textual edition of Allan Ramsay to replace the never entirely satisfactory and now very much outdated Scottish Text Society version). This too is under contract with Edinburgh University Press, and both these projects are now supported by a 2018-2023 AHRC major award of [pounds sterling]1 million for 'The Edinburgh Ramsay Project'.

This issue begins with Steve Newman's discussion of the symbolism of 'Hodden-Gray' in Ramsay and its resonance throughout his work and the poetic position he adopts. …

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