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SCOTNOTES Study Guides

William McIlvanney’s

Beth Dickson

Published in: Paperback.
By: Association for Scottish Literary Studies, 1998
Price: £5.95
ISBN 978-0-948877-36-0

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William McIlvanney’s fiction is drawn from the lives and circumstances of the people of the West of Scotland, and is characterised by detailed observation, an accurate ear for language, wit and thoughtful reflection on living and working conditions. Laidlaw is a crime novel: its eponymous detective is both thoughtful and fallible, and the book can be seen as a precursor to the ‘Tartan Noir’ works of writers such as Ian Rankin.

Beth Dickson’s Scotnote provides a thoughtful analysis of the novel, its characters and its settings, for senior school pupils and students at all levels.


  • Author and Background
  • Works
  • Introduction to Laidlaw
  • Setting
  • Characters
  • Genre
  • Structure
  • Sequence
    • Section One
    • Section Two
    • Section Three
    • Section Four
  • Style
  • Themes
  • Notes
  • Bibliography


Last updated 20 October 2010.