David Goldie

David Goldie, who teaches in the Department of English Studies at the University of Strathclyde, is an editor of Beyond Scotland: Scottish Literature in the 20th Century, due later this year.

One day, in the early years of the 20th century, a poetically-minded young man from the Scottish borders called Christopher Murray Grieve walked to Ecclefechan, the birthplace of Thomas Carlyle. It wasn’t a long way, but his trek was a gesture of hero-worship to one of the greatest Scotsmen and largest egos of the previous century. He toured Carlyle’s house and, as some visitors...

Sunshine: Morecambe and Wise

David Goldie, 15 April 1999

Nearly 29 million people watched Morecambe and Wise’s Christmas Special in 1977 – over six and a half million more than had watched the Queen’s Speech earlier in the day. Graham McCann proposes that this popular endorsement of Morecambe and Wise as de facto national comics is also a vindication of what were then the public service ideals of the BBC. As national broadcasting fragments under the narrowing commercial stresses of satellite and digital, and as political devolution threatens national news programming, this is an attractive argument, suggesting that it is more than an exercise in nostalgia to recall a recent past in which large parts of the nation sat down together. What McCann is trying to account for is not just the careers of two excellent funny men, but the culture – both national and televisual – that made them possible.’

A to Z: Schmidt’s List

Ian Hamilton, 4 March 1999

Yalden, Hammond, Stepney, Fenton (Elijah) and Hughes (John): where are you now? Ten of the 52 poets represented in Samuel Johnson’s Lives of the Poets fail to make an appearance in the

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