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Cross-Currents in Eighteenth-Century Scottish Writing

Occasional Papers series No. 14

Edited by Christopher MacLachlan

Published in: Paperback.
By: Association for Scottish Literary Studies, Glasgow 2009.
Price: £19.95
ISBN 9780948877889

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The eighteenth century was a time of dramatic change and drastic upheaval in Scotland, from the Treaty of Union with England in 1707, through Jacobite rebellions in the Highlands, to the Scottish Enlightenment. This was the century when Scottish writing exploded across the globe, from Hume and Smith, from Macpherson’s Ossian, from Burns and from Scott, transforming world literature and culture. Crossing the Highland Line is a new collection of essays examining this crucial period, exploring the literary connections and influences across Scotland, and tracing the links between those who wrote in Scots and English and those who wrote in Gaelic.

These essays, from fourteen leading scholars, show that the whole of Scotland – Highland and Lowland, high cultures and low – participated in the reshaping of literature in the eighteenth century. The Highland Line does not divide.


These essays are based on papers originally presented at the 34th ASLS Annual Conference, ‘Crossing the Highland Line’, held at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig on the Isle of Skye, 20–22 May 2005.


  • Introduction
  • Edward J. Cowan: Contacts and tensions in Highland and Lowland culture
  • Gerard Carruthers: ‘Poured out extensive, and of watery wealth’: Scotland in Thomson’s The Seasons
  • Raghnall MacilleDhuibh: Compàirteachadh an Urraim: Mac Mhgr Alastair ’s a’ Ghalldachd
  • Ronald Black: Sharing the Honour: Mac Mhgr Alastair and the Lowlands
  • Christopher MacLachlan: Literary Edinburgh in the Time of Alexander MacDonald
  • Neil MacGregor: Orm a Laigheas Gach Seanchas: The Gaelic Songs of John Roy Stuart
  • Murray Pittock: The Jacobite Song: Was There a Scottish Aisling?
  • Donald E. Meek: Evangelicalism, Ossianism And The Enlightenment: The Many Masks Of Dugald Buchanan
  • Kenneth Simpson: The Place of Macpherson’s Ossian in Scottish Literature
  • Meg Bateman: The Environmentalism of Donnchadh Bàn: Pragmatic or Mythic?
  • Margery Palmer McCulloch: The Lasses Reply to Mr Burns: Women Poets and Songwriters in the Lowlands
  • E. Mairi MacArthur: Fresh Fields for Inquiry: Travellers to the Highlands in the Eighteenth Century
  • Domhnall Uilleam Stiùbhart: Highland Rogues and the Roots of Highland Romanticism
  • William Gillies: The Poetry of William Ross

Last updated 24 July 2014.