Literary Scotland: Land and Writers

The land is the mother of culture, because our places are the reason we see and hear and feel as we do. Take a wander around Scotland, exploring through the eyes of some great Scottish writers. In each region we will look at the environment, history and folk traditions that prompted these stories and the writers who lived there. Starting at the Borders (Scott) we will visit, among others, Ayrshire (Burns), the Islands (Stevenson), Highlands (Outlander series), Orkney (George Mackay Brown), Dumfriesshire (Buchan), and back to Edinburgh (Spark) seeking their inspirations and opening ourselves to their stories.


SUGGESTED READING

  • Waverley, Sir Walter Scott
  • Poems, Robert Burns
  • The 39 Steps, John Buchan
  • Kidnapped, Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Whiskey Galore, Compton Mackenzie
  • Sunset Song, Peter May
  • Outlander, Diana Gabaldon
  • Scots Quair, Lewis Grassic Gibbon
  • Magnus, George Mackay Brown
  • Raven Black, Ann Cleeves
  • The Bridge, Iain Banks
  • Knots & Crosses, Ian Rankin
  • The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Muriel Spark
  • 44 Scotland Street, Alexander McCall Smith
  • Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson


COURSE OUTLINE
This course will explore the environment, history, folktales and legends as well as writers of:

  • Borders: Romans, Wars with the English, Sir Walter Scott, Margaret Oliphant
  • Dumfries: William Wallace, Wars with the English, Robert Burns, John Buchan
  • Islands: Celtic, Norse, Scottish, R. L. Stevenson, Compton Mackenzie, Duncan Williamson (folktales and legends), Peter May
  • Highlands: Gaels, Clan wars, Ossian hoax, Diana Gabaldon, Josephine Tey
  • Glasgow: 19th century industry and trade, Crime fiction
  • Orkney and Shetland: Neolithic, Norse, World Wars, Mackay Brown, Ann Cleeves
  • Aberdeen: Royalists and Covenanters, 19th century industry, Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Andrew Lang, James Barrie, George MacDonald
  • Fife: Picts, Scottish kings, Ian Rankin, Iain Banks, Val McDermid
  • Edinburgh: Muriel Spark, Alexander McCall Smith, Arthur Conan Doyle, Kenneth Grahame


PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Describe the life story of each of these writers: Scott, Burns, Buchan, Stevenson, Mackenzie, Williamson, May, Gabaldon, Brown, Cleeves, Gibbon, Rankin, Spark, Smith.
  2. Describe their cultural contexts and influences.
  3. Read their books with some understanding of their context.
  4. Outline the plots and themes of some Scottish folktales and legends.
  5. Describe the environments of different Scottish regions.
  6. Outline the history of Scotland.
  7. Plan an itinerary for visiting Scotland based on literary places of interest.
$110 Limited / $99

<p>The land is the mother of culture, because our places are the reason we see and hear and feel as we do. Take a wander around Scotland, exploring through the eyes of some great Scottish writers. In

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15 Feb

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