Scottish Noël (1500s).

  • MacColla, Fionn
  • [Edinburgh]: [Castle Wynd Publishers] 1958


SKU: 5986 Category: Tags: , ,


FIRST EDITION, SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR, 8vo, pp. [iv], 68. Original blue boards, dustjacket printed in black and pale blue. Boards slightly bowed and lightly marked, dustjacket price-clipped with remains of a sticker to clipped edge, a little rubbed to edges. Signed by the author to the title-page, one neat correction in ink to p. 7.


A short work by writer and Scottish nationalist Fionn MacColla (1906-1975), described on the jacket flap as 'an excerpt from a new novel'; the compositional and publishing history of that novel is complicated but can be summarised thus: The novel 'Move up, John' was written in the early 1940s and failed to find a publisher, and several years of rewritings and revisions followed. This book represents the first published section of that novel, a reworking of chapter 2. Despite praise from Sydney Goodsir Smith, Naomi Mitchison and Edwin Muir (all quoted on the rear jacket panel) nothing further appeared until 1962, when another chapter was adapted for the stage; the text was published in 1967. Both of these sections were reworked and repurposed for MacColla's non-fiction work 'At The Sign of The Clenched Fist', also in 1967, along with other fragments from the whole, and the complete novel wasn't published until 1994, from MacColla's notes and drafts with the assistance of his widow.
Best-remembered today as the subject of an Edward Baird portrait, MacColla was a schoolteacher on Benbecula and a friend and fellow-traveller of Hugh MacDiarmid. He has signed this copy in a neat hand to the title-page and is plausibly the source of the correction to page 7.

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