The Bottle Imp supplement is a Spring publication dedicated to papers presented by members of the Scottish Literature Discussion Group at the Modern Language Association (MLA) convention. The session topic for 2015 was ‘Scottish Literature: Into the Great Unknowns’.

Introduction: Scottish Literature at the MLA 2015

Following from Matthew Wickman, it was my pleasure to chair the Modern Language Association’s Scottish Literature Discussion Group for 2014–2015. As Matthew mentioned in his column last year, the MLA provides one of the best international forums for Scottish literature with its world-wide community of more than 30,000 members from over 100 countries. The main event […]

The Unknown and the Unknowns: Naturalism in Scottish Domestic Fiction

Nineteenth-century Scottish literature is full of the unknown: some of its best known figures — James Hogg, Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson, George MacDonald, and J. M. Barrie — explore aspects of the magical, supernatural, irrational, or simply mysterious in their fiction. Drawing on Scotland’s heroic past and native traditions, these writers helped to embalm […]

Writing in Burns’s Shadow: The Great Unknowns of Nineteenth-Century Scottish Labouring-Class Verse

Writing in the ‘great shadow’ of Robert Burns proved to be a difficult enterprise for nineteenth-century labouring-class Scottish poets; a wave of tributes and elegies were prompted by Burns’s death in 1796, as his ‘brother’ and ‘sister’ poets confronted his legacy. The critical reception of Burns in the early nineteenth century complicated Burns’s persona as […]

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