Gaelic periodicals in the Lowlands: negotiating change

Kidd, S. M. (2015) Gaelic periodicals in the Lowlands: negotiating change. In: MacLachlan, C. and Renton, R. W. (eds.) Gael and Lowlander in Scottish Literature: Cross-currents in Scottish Writing in the Nineteenth Century. Series: Occasional papers (Association for Scottish Literary Studies) (20). Scottish Literature International: Glasgow, pp. 143-158. ISBN 97819089980106

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The nascent Gaelic periodical press which emerged in the period between 1829 and 1850 is of fundamental importance in demonstrating the effect which changing demographics were to have on the production of Gaelic literature. Increasing levels of Gaelic literacy, technological advances in both print production and in transportation and, not least, concentrations of Gaelic-speakers in the urban Lowlands were to provide an environment in which a number of attempts were made at publishing Gaelic periodicals. Charles Withers’ important analysis of the movement of Highlanders to urban Lowland centres in the course of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries has drawn extensively on official records such as census data and focused on cultural institutions including churches and Highland societies. Offering a counter-balance to this is the work of scholars such as Kenneth Macdonald and Michel Byrne who have placed Gaelic literature at the centre of their work on Glasgow Gaels in the nineteenth century, with Byrne drawing primarily on verse and Macdonald using both prose and verse. Consideration of the periodical press, its writers and its content, can bring a further dimension to the debate, demonstrating some of the ways in which Gaelic culture, and particularly Gaelic literature, adapted and responded to this new social milieu. This paper outlines some of the ways in which the early Gaelic periodical press in particular emerged in, and was influenced by, this new and changing environment, attempting to reconcile its Lowland base and its readership dispersed in the Lowlands, Highlands and beyond. The focus will be primarily, although not exclusively, on the first periodical founded and edited by the Rev. Dr Norman MacLeod, An Teachdaire Gae’lach, which was published in Glasgow between 1829 and 1831.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kidd, Dr Sheila
Authors: Kidd, S. M.
Subjects:P Language and Literature > PB Modern European Languages > PB1501 Scottish Gaelic Language
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Celtic and Gaelic
Publisher:Scottish Literature International
Copyright Holders:ASLS and Sheila M. Kidd

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