I read Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s A Scots Quair in the summer between high school and college. It is three books – Sunset Song, Cloud Howe and. Title: A Scots Quair Author: Lewis Grassic Gibbon * A Project Gutenberg of Australia eBook * eBook No.: Language: English Date first posted . Lewis Grassic Gibbon (James Leslie Mitchell) was one of the finest writers of the twentieth century. Born in Aberdeenshire in , he died at the age of.

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There were larks coming over that morning, Chris minded, whistling and trilling dark and unseen against the blaze of the sun, now one lark now another, till scohs sweetness of the trilling dizzied you and you stumbled with heavy pails corn-laden, and quiar swore at you over the red beard of him Damn’t to hell, are you fair a fool, you quean?

For her eyes were wide open, she rubbed them with never a need of that, if she hadn’t been dreaming she must have been daft.

His characters would live real lives, and they would be raw. And she took the paper from him and looked at it and turned it this way and that, but feint the thing could she made of it.

This is a false dichotomy many in Scotland may recognise even today. To view it, click here. The more lyrical passages of the novel read with an intensity that I suppose is redolent of their period: Let me tell you we’ve never needed anybody come to our help, though we don’t boast and blow about it all over the countryside, like some I could mention.

The other offputting issue for me was the author’s propensity for launching into paragraphs and pages of turgid description, mostly of what people were feeling or thinking and of course, given the general tone of the book, generally they were angry or sad or depressed — at great length.

I have no need to repeat the things he said, or replicate the passages from the book that stand for themselves. It’s also often very funny — much funnier than I’ve made it sound in this review.

Right fond of the gentry was Kinloch, if you wore a fine frock and your hair was well brushed scpts your father scost to the fore he’d sit beside you and stroke your arm and speak in a slow sing-song that made everybody laugh behind his back. She moves to the fictional city of Duncairn previously referred to in Cloud Howe as Dundon. Above all, he portrays the cataclysmic impact of the war on a generation and their expectations.


What more room do we want than we have? One night they heard her cry to John Guthrie Four of a family’s fine; there’ll be no more. For as he went up through scogs broom he heard a shot, did John Guthrie, cracking the morning so dark and iron-like, and he stood astounded, was not Blawearie his and he the tenant of it?

But as the day wore on and Long Rob, working in that orra field above the Mill, still sang and sweated and swore at his horses, the singing must have drawn the Andy creature down from the larch wood, by hedges creeping and slipping from the sight of the Upperhill men in the parks.

Paperbackpages. In Sunset Song when she marries Ewan Tavendale and has his child, it’s as if she’s embracing in his body everything she loves best in that generation of men who work the land in an interesting extra twist of social history, Ewan isn’t actually from the Mearns; he’s a Highlander who’s come to find work there.

It’s broken into the seasons of the year, so we follow her from Winter to Spring to Summer and Autumn I have to admit this may be wrong it’s about 20 years since I last read it. S, LGG excels at getting inside his characters and more than once I was on the verge of tears because of their misfortunes, as well as happily smiling seen their more enduring characteristics and enraged when they were quaig their worse.

But you aren’t clear about any of that yet – you really think you might turn out to be Anna Karenina or Isabel Archer. It isn’t true written Scots, but a sort of in-between approximation, made I’m sure partly so that the book wasn’t closed to an English reader.

A Scots Quair Series

Some said the North, up Aberdeen way, had had rain enough, with Dee in spate and bairns hooking stranded salmon down in the shallows, and that must be fine enough, but not a flick of the greeve weather had come over the hills, the roads you walked down to Kinraddie smithy or up to the Denburn were fair blistering in the heat, thick with dust so that the motor-cars went shooming through them like kettles under steam.


Well might you expect it, for once he’d been no more than a Dublin waiter, they said. A Scots Quair Socialism, like religion, is dismissed as just another ideology, and if this trilogy is anything, it’s unideological. And they’d look at each other, daft-like, two wrinkled old fools, and their daughter Sarah that was so genteel would be real affronted if there were visitors about.

Chrissy defied convention and can easily say Grassic Gibbon gave me strength and conviction through what was effectively my first feminist reading. And Will said to him, calling up the stair, Ay, doctor, only she’s feared, and the doctor said She’ll have a damned sight more to fear when she’s having a bairn of her own.

A Scots Quair – Wikipedia

Clean and keen and wild and clear, the evening ploughed land’s smell up in your nose and your mouth when you opened it, for Netherhill’s teams had been out in that park all day, queer and lovely and dear the smell Chris noted. Unfortunately war breaks out and her husband is sent away to fight in France. That’s part of what I find beautiful about it. Or maybe he knew perfectly well how difficult is to find the right balance between being a complacent wcots and a useless radical and left sots there.

Head down to the wind and her reins loose and her bonny coat all mottled with sleet went Clyde, the load a nothing to her, fine and clean and sonsy she marched, following John Guthrie’s cart with no other thing or soul to guide but that ever and now, in this half-mile and that she heard his voice cry cheerily Fine, Clyde, fine.

The fact that Ewan, in his early 20’sswings over to Communism, after all his years with his head in books is very surprising. I’ve been meaning to reread it for two years and finally did it this year, for which I am glad.