Monday, 14 September 2020

Patricia Joyce Wilson (1929-2020)

We were sorry to hear of the death of the Galt scholar Joyce Wilson and attach the following obituary written by her colleague David Jago:

Patricia Joyce Wilson (1929-2020)

Patricia Joyce Wilson, or Joyce, as she was always known, was on the staff of the Scottish College of Commerce, when it merged with the Royal College of Science and Technology to form the new University of Strathclyde in 1964, in which she became one of the founder-members of the Department of English Studies, under the chairmanship of Professor I.F. Clarke. Over the next four years, the new Department developed a four-year course leading to Honours, which covered the received canon and included the major figures in English literature. At the same time, the appointment of Douglas Gifford in 1967 helped to ensure that Scottish literature would always occupy a significant place on the undergraduate syllabus, with the result that several colleagues, including not only Joyce but Kenneth Simpson (The Protean Scot: The Crisis of Identity in Eighteenth Century Sottish Literature, 1988), Andrew Noble, John Redmond, and Michael Bath (Emblems in Scotland: Motifs and Meanings, 2018), developed teaching and research interests in the field. In 1968 the University awarded her the degree of Master of Letters for her thesis on The Fiction of Leonard Merrick, 1864-1939. In the following years, up to her retirement in 1994, she taught on a wide range of undergraduate classes, particularly on the 19th century Scottish novel, and in 1979 her chapter, “Ringan Gilhaize–a Neglected Masterpiece” appeared in Christopher Whatley’s John Galt 1779-1979. In 1984 her finely researched edition of Ringan Gilhaize appeared from Scottish Academic Press (Edinburgh). Joyce Wilson’s important contribution to Galt Studies, then, was to draw considerable renewed attention to Galt’s historical novel.

David Jago (Emeritus, Department of English Studies, University of Strathclyde)

Sunday, 28 June 2020

New EUP Titles available

We are delighted to see that the first two volumes in the Edinburgh University Press Galt project have now been published.  They are  
Annals of the Parish, edited and introduced by Bob Irvine

Three Short Novels - Glenfell, Andrew of Padua, and The Omen, edited and introduced by Angela Esterhammer.

They are available online at the EUP website, here.

During these difficult times it is always encouraging to see that this kind of work can still proceed, and we will keep you posted about other developments as well as new volumes as and when they are published.

Saturday, 27 June 2020

New article on 'Presbyterianism, "Scottish Literature," and John Galt's Annals of the Parish.'

A new article concerning Annals of the Parish has been published in Studies in Scottish Literature. Written by Bob Irvine (who was due to speak at our AGM before the lockdown intervened), the article is another excellent scholarly contribution to Galt's legacy.

The article can be downloaded for free on the SSL page, here.

The abstract:

In discussing religion in John Galt's novel about religious and social change in a small West of Scotland town between 1760 and 1820, suggests “Scottish literature” was forged, not in opposition to Calvinist theological ideas, but to the Kirk as a rival national institution, and that Scottish literature became "national," less through self-from the literature of another nation (England), than from another institution with a rival claim to represent the same nation, namely the established Scottish church.

Friday, 1 November 2019

Tour of Galt's Glasgow

On 1st October members enjoyed a walking tour of Galt's Glasgow, led by local historian Michael Martin.  We started at Glasgow Cross, made our way down to Glasgow Green and then back up the Saltmarket and High Street.  Refreshed by a cup of tea in the St Mungo Museum we moved back down the hill by way of some fascinating lanes and alleyways which we would ordinarily never have noticed to finish at Stockwell Street .  We were favoured by a sunny afternoon and by MIchael's extensive knowledge of both Galt's works and the Glasgow of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.  We are grateful to Michael for giving us his time and his expertise.

For more on this theme why not browse the slides on show during Craig Lamont's talk on Galt and Glasgow [image from presentation].

Monday, 1 July 2019

New article on Galt

FYI: Jeffrey Cass, 'John Galt: Capitalism and Ecology', The Wordsworth Circle (Spring 2019, p. 247).

Galt's Glasgow & Visit to Abbotsford

As announced at the AGM the Society will be organising a walking tour of Galt's Glasgow, guided by Michael Martin.  The date has not yet been fixed but is likely to be late September or early October.  We are also trying to arrange a visit to the library at Abbotsford, probably during August.  Members who would like to participate in either (or both) of these events can register their interest with the Secretary at

The 2019 Memorial Lecture

The 2019 Memorial Lecture was delivered in Irvine Town House by Professor Ian Campbell.  His subject was "Galt and the Kirk" and, with particular reference to The Ayrshire Legatees and Annals of the Parish, he showed how Galt described both the extent of the influence the Church wielded in small Scottish communities and how and why that influence was eroded as the eighteenth century gave way to the nineteenth.  The lecture was very well received by an audience which included a visiting party from Guelph, the city Galt founded in Ontario and which included 2 actors and musicians who entertained the company before the lecture with a dramatised performance relating to the founding of the city and the issues which colonisation raised.  We are again grateful to North Ayrshire Council for their generous hospitality in hosting this event.