Literary Handbooks, Dictionaries, and Encyclopedias


Royle, Trevor. Mainstream Companion to Scottish Literature. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1993. 335 pp. (Revision of Companion to Scottish Literature [Detroit: Gale, 1983; 322 pp.].) PR8506.R692 820.9′9411′03.

A handbook with entries on authors writing in English, Scots, or Gaelic; movements; historical events and persons; publishing; manuscripts; places; and other topics of literary interest. The majority of the entries are for writers (including historians, philosophers, divines, and scholars) and provide basic biographical information, brief critical comments, and a list of major books (including standard editions) and citations to important scholarship. Entrants in the 1983 edition are indexed in Biography and Genealogy Master Index (J565). Despite occasional errors, this is a valuable, lucidly written source for quick reference.


Bold, Alan. Scotland: A Literary Guide. London: Routledge, 1989. 327 pp. PR8531.B65 820.9′9411.

A guide to important locations with literary associations. Places are listed alphabetically; organized chronologically under each location are sections on authors, medieval to contemporary and foreigners as well as Scots, that describe the nature of the association, note specific buildings or monuments (without precise locations in too many instances), and usually offer an illustrative quotation. With more attention to local color than is usual in such works, Scotland: A Literary Guide is an entertaining resource for the literary tourist.