Recommend to your Librarian

Ecology and Modern Scottish Literature

Louisa Gairn

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This book presents a provocative and timely reconsideration of modern Scottish literature in the light of ecological thought. Louisa Gairn demonstrates how successive generations of Scottish writers have both reflected on and contributed to the development of international ecological theory and philosophy.

Provocative re-readings of works by authors including Robert Louis Stevenson, John Muir, Nan Shepherd, John Burnside, Kathleen Jamie and George Mackay Brown demonstrate the significance of ecological thought across the spectrum of Scottish literary culture. This book traces the influence of ecology as a scientific, philosophical and political concept in the work of these and other writers and in doing so presents an original outlook on Scottish literature from the mid-nineteenth century to the present.

Key Features

  • Considers both 'canonical' and less well known Scottish writers, including Gaelic poets and mountaineering literature, Robert Louis Stevenson and John Muir, and contemporary authors Kathleen Jamie and John Burnside
  • The first book to consider Scottish literature in the light of ecological and green thought
  • Engages with a major topical issue and sets the study of Scottish writing within the broader context of international green approaches to literary studies
  • Encourages reflection on the links between literary studies and perspectives drawn from the disciplines of environmental history, anthropology, philosophy and cultural geography


List of Figures
Introduction: Re-mapping Modern Scottish Literature
1. Feelings for Nature in Victorian Scotland
2. Strange Lands
3. Local and Global Outlooks
4. Dear Green Places
5. Lines of Defence


Gairn's survey of ecological thought in the Scottish literary tradition is detailed and engagingly written.
- Forum for Modern Language Studies
This text is an invaluable addition to inquiries into the value and significance of dwelling for Scottish writers since the mid-nineteenth century.
- Tom Bristow, Scottish Literary Review
This is the first book-length study of one of the great themes in modern Scottish writing. Lucid, sophisticated and internationally-minded, it is a landmark work.Robert Crawford, University of St Andrews
- Robert Crawford
This is an important and lively book for UK ecocriticism on the international stage, announcing a new generation of culturally rooted ecocritics.
- Terry Gifford, Green Letters Review Blog