This volume gathers together essays on Scottish literature, diverse in historical period, mode, and form in honour of Professor R.D.S. Jack, Professor Emeritus of English Literature at the University of Edinburgh. Chronologically, the collection sweeps from the early middle ages to the early twentieth century, from Robert Henryson to J.M. Barrie, conveying a sense of the shifting and subtle identities and continuities of Scottish literary traditions across the centuries, and opening up, through a distinctive and unusual range of writers and texts, unfamiliar aesthetic, cultural, and linguistic landscapes. Unusual and wide-ranging in subject and scope, the volume explores Scottish medieval romance and allegory, Renaissance court performance, early modern travel writing, seventeenth-century poetry, Sir Thomas Urquharts universal language theory, Scottish Romanticism, Burns and Barrie. Shared threads of interest run through the collection: a questioning of the canonical; attentiveness to questions of language, rhetoric, and form; and a commitment to uncovering the dynamic interaction between European and Scottish traditions. Collectively, the volume charts a new series of imaginative cross-currents across historical periods and literary modes, attesting the importance of, and necessity for, a critical vision of Scottish literature which is pluralistic, comparative, and sensitive to form, mode, and rhetoric.
R D S Jack
Professor Jack retired in 2004 as chair of Scottish and Medieval Literature at the University of Edinburgh. He became Emeritus Professor the same year. He has authored eight books and edited two others. Among them are The Italian Influence on Scottish Literature, Alexander Montgomerie, and The Road to Neverland. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh as well as Honorary Fellow of the Glasgow University Centre for Robert Burns Studies. Also among his many accomplishments, Dr. Jack is a member of the English Association, and a former member of the UK’s University Admissions Service.