While a number of published works approach the shared concerns of Ireland and Scotland, no major volume has offered a sustained and up-to-date analysis of the cultural connections between the two, despite the fact that these border crossings continue to be politically suggestive. The current collection addresses this area of comparative critical neglect, focusing on writers, from Charles Robert Maturin to Liam McIlvanney, whose work offers insights into debates about identity and politics in these two neighbour nations, too often overwhelmed by connections with their larger neighbour, England.
The essays in this collection are distinct yet connected, and are designed to come together like the intricate cross-bars and precise patterning of the plaid to capture the complexity of the Celtic connections they address. They move from pre-history to postmodernism, from Gothic to Gaelic and from Macbeth to Marxism, incorporating gender and genre, and providing a detailed survey of responses to the Irish-Scottish paradigm.
Willy Maley is Professor of Renaissance Studies at the University of Glasgow. He is the author of Nation, State and Empire in English Renaissance Literature: Shakespeare to Milton (2003) and Muriel Spark for Starters(2008). He has also co-edited Shakespeare and Wales: From the Marches to the Assembly (2010); The Edinburgh Companion to Muriel Spark (2010); and This England, That Shakespeare: New Angles on Englishness and the Bard (2010).
Alison O’Malley-Younger is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Sunderland and co-director of the North East Irish Culture Network. She has co-edited Representing Ireland: Past, Present and Future (2005);Essays on Modern Irish Literature (2007); No Country for Old Men: Fresh Perspectives on Irish Literature (2008); and Ireland at War and Peace (2011).