Literature in Gaelic II

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Vernacular Gaelic literature through the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was almost entirely oral, with a valuing of forms and styles that allowed for memorisation and public performance whether in dun [castle], talla [hall] or ceilidh-house. Mac Mhaighstir Alasdair was one of the last Scottish Gaelic poets – along with his son Raghnall – to write in the centuries-old Gaelic corra-litir hand and continuity to earlier Gaelic traditions can clearly be seen in his poetry, not least in its emphasis on praise. The development of a global Gaelic diaspora with print media that could sustain cultural links over thousands of miles was, of course, a consequence of the large-scale emigration from the Highlands and Islands through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. After the Second World War, the promotion of Gaelic literature would be driven on by a handful of key figures, and the institutions they set up and energy they devoted to it.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA companion to Scottish literature
EditorsGerard Carruthers
Place of PublicationChichester
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781119651550
ISBN (Print)9781119651444
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2024

Publication series

NameBlackwell companions to literature and culture


  • Print media
  • Public performance
  • Scottish Gaelic poets
  • Second World War
  • Vernacular Gaelic literature


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