Chapter 15. Scottish Literature

Table of Contents

This section is limited to works devoted exclusively to Scottish literature (primarily in English). Because Scottish writers are frequently included in reference works on English or British literature, researchers must also consult section M: English Literature. Many works listed in sections G: Serial Bibliographies, Indexes, and Abstracts and H: Guides to Dissertations and Theses are useful for research in Scottish literature.

Histories and Surveys


The Edinburgh History of Scottish Literature. Ian Brown, gen. ed. 3 vols. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2007. PR8511.E35 820.99411′22.

  • Vol. 1: From Columba to the Union (until 1707). Ed. Thomas Owen Clancy and Murray Pittock. 334 pp.

  • Vol. 2: Enlightenment, Britain, and Empire. Ed. Susan Manning. 390 pp.

  • Vol. 3: Modern Transformations: New Identities (from 1918). Ed. Brown. 356 pp.

A collaborative history of Scottish literature in English, Latin, Scottish, Norse, French, Welsh, and Gaelic that employs multiple theoretical perspectives to engage “problems of canonicity, reception and interpretation.” Each volume consists of essays by established scholars on cultural, social, and intellectual backgrounds; genres; reception; languages; and major writers. Although the editors deliberately eschewed “a distracting reference apparatus,” essays conclude with a brief list of studies for further reading. Indexed in each volume by persons, subjects, and some titles. Despite lacking the coherence and balance possible in a connected narrative, Edinburgh History offers the most current and thorough history of Scottish literature.