Critical Context

(Critical Guide to British Fiction)

A Scots Quair is universally regarded as an epic achievement in depicting the death of a small rural Scottish community and the life of a girl grown to womanhood amid a crumbling social and economic structure. It is still widely read in Scotland and is achieving a degree of recognition abroad, in part because of the televising of the dramatized version of Sunset Song and the wider availability of the paperback edition.

Written toward the end of Gibbon’s life, the novels vividly convey his view of peasant life, and, whether right or wrong, his personal biases concerning the culture and society in which he lived. The popularity of A Scots Quair has caused it to overshadow other of Gibbon’s fine works but has also opened the world and writings of this important Scottish author to a far broader reading public.