Auld Campaigner: a Life of Alexander Scott

David S. Robb

    Research output: Book/ReportBook


    'I like this fellow Alexander Scott - whoever he is', wrote Sydney Goodsir Smith to Maurice Lindsay soon after the Second World war. Literary Scotland certainly came to know who Alexander Scott (1920-89) was. In his day, he was one of the most prominent of Scotland's poets, renowned for witty, passionate, vigorous poems in both Scots and English - poems embodying his high ideals of poetic craftsmanship and carrying forward MacDiarmid's literary Renaissance into the Sixties. They were also among the most entertaining of their time. Scott's achievement, however, stretched wider still: to Edwin Morgan, for example, his legacy is that of 'an excellent man of letters'. His poetry was the centrepiece of a lifetime's commitment to Scotland's literature and culture, a commitment which took many forms and was expressed in many ways. From his appointment in 1948 as Glasgow University's Lecturer in Scottish Literature, Scott took a lead in developing Scottish Literature as a modern subject, laying the foundations for its present prominence in the Scottish academic scene. In 1971, he became the first head of the world's only university department in the subject. In addition, he was a dramatist, actor, anthologist, scholar, critic, editor, broadcaster, columnist and controversialist. He was active, too, in many important and imaginative initiatives following the creation of the Scottish Arts Council in the 1960s. A unique personality, Alexander Scott embodied much that was vital in his country's post-war culture. In his story, the shape of modern Scotland emerges. This is the first major biography of a hugely influential figure in the Scottish literary scene in the 20th century. It will appeal to students of the Scottish renaissance and lovers of twentieth century Scots literature.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationEdinburgh
    PublisherDunedin Academic Press
    ISBN (Print)9781903765388
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


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