Sally Mapstone

Sally Mapstone, president of the Scottish Text Society, is a fellow of St Hilda’s College, Oxford.

Robert Fergusson died in Edinburgh’s Bedlam on 17 October 1774. He was 24 years old. He had been admitted to the asylum three months before, against his will, because his mother could no longer look after him. Having been persuaded by some friends that he was being taken out in a sedan chair to visit another acquaintance, he was conveyed instead to a cell in the asylum, a sepulchrous...

From Go to Whoa: Tim Winton

Sally Mapstone, 5 September 2002

Tim Winton’s new novel is a love story that comes out of a background of isolation and accident. Georgie Jutland, a fortyish ex-nurse from a good family, has got herself into a three-year relationship with Jim Buckridge, a widowed, well-off lobster fisherman with two young sons. She is living with them in conditions of domestic comfort but emotional torpor in White Point, a fishing...

Common Sense: James Kelman

Sally Mapstone, 15 November 2001

James Kelman’s fifth novel, Translated Accounts, is also his first to be delivered entirely in English. In the three novels he published between 1984 and 1989, Kelman mixed Scots and English, with Scots used to convey characters’ speech and states of mind while English handled action and certain, often more formal, types of discourse. This approach reached its most radical...

In December 1501 the Scottish poet William Dunbar received £5 from the Court of King James IV, a payment which was given to him, according to the Treasurer’s accounts, ‘eftir he com furth of Ingland’. It is not known for sure what he had been doing there. He may well have been in the entourage of the Scottish embassy which was conducting the negotiations with Henry VII...

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