Archive for the Biography/ Autobiography Category

The long road from Ibrox to Brechin

The long road from Ibrox to Brechin

The following piece appears as a chapter in Alan Bissett’s and Alasdair McKillop’s excellent collection of essays, ‘Born Under a Union Flag’, published by Luath. The book explores cultural and religious identity in Scotland, how these identities relate to football and their impact on the current constitutional […]

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In My Own Time

Alex Wood, former head, now working at the Scottish Centre for Studies in School Administration Books My recent reading has been a familiarisation with the work of James Robertson. I started with the ambitious And the Land Lay Still (which effectively spanned my lifetime), before reading The […]

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Above the dog-fight: Scotland can ill-afford to lose the Greens

Above the dog-fight: Scotland can ill-afford to lose the Greens

As the Scottish election rumbles on, one outcome is already certain: Robin Harper will no longer grace Holyrood. That will be Scotland’s, and democracy’s, loss.  Harper has added an ethical dimension, missing from much of Scottish politics and a style of engagement – courteous, concerned with issues […]

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Dennis is no menace

Dennis is no menace

There are few politicians in Scotland, who leave the political arena as respected as they entered it. Dennis Canavan is one. His autobiography, ‘Let the People Decide’ (Birlinn, £9.99) is a remarkably simple and straight-forward account of events and times which were far from simple and straightforward. […]

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‘Leaving Alexandria’ by Richard Holloway, review

‘Leaving Alexandria’ by Richard Holloway, review

Richard Holloway is well known for BBC Radio Scotland’s Sunday Morning with Richard Holloway.  His The relaxed, informative style makes a highly attractive programme.  He was previously an Anglican priest, Episcopal Bishop of Edinburgh and Scottish Episcopal Primus. His 1999 book, ‘Godless Morality: Keeping Religion out of […]

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For Richard Holloway, ‘maybe’ is an important word

For Richard Holloway,  ‘maybe’ is an   important word

It’s possibly a tribute to Richard Holloway, former primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, that I’ve never heard a bad word about him from atheists and agnostics. My Christian friends are much more critical. Holloway explores (revels in) such paradoxes in his autobiography, ‘Leaving Alexandria’ (Canongate, RRP, […]

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Scotland’s folk hero: Hamish Henderson

Scotland’s folk hero: Hamish Henderson

‘Poetry Becomes People’, the second volume of Timothy Neat’s biography of Hamish Henderson (Polygon Books, £25), completes the life of one of modern Scotland’s architects. The first volume, ‘The Making of the Poet’, (reviewed in Scottish Review, 6 January 2009) ends with Henderson starting his career as […]

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Hamish Henderson: the man who escaped Scottish Calvinism Review

Hamish Henderson: the man who escaped Scottish Calvinism  Review

Volume I of Timothy Neat’s Hamish Henderson, a Biography (Polygon Books, 375 pp, £25.00), explores the early life of Hamish Henderson, the poet, folk-lorist, soldier, communist and nationalist, one of contemporary Scotland’s most dazzling intellectual stars.  Henderson was born in 1919, the illegitimate son of a respectable […]

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Review: The Wound and the Gift, by Ron Ferguson

Review: The Wound and the Gift, by Ron Ferguson

With The Wound and the Gift (St Andrew Press, £19.99), Ron Ferguson, journalist, minister, writer, has produced a stunning, insightful and unorthodox biography of the Orcadian poet, George Mackay Brown.  Ferguson knew Mackay Brown.  When he was minister of St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall he became close […]

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The Wound and the Gift

The Episcopal Church of St John the Evangelist at Edinburgh’s West End is a mass of visual contradictions. The radical murals….   This article first appeared in Lothian Life on 17 August 2011.  To view it in its entirety go to: http://www.lothianlife.co.uk/2011/08/the-wound-and-the-gift/

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