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Somhairle MacGill-Eain
Sorley MacLean

Edited by Christopher Whyte

Published in: Paperback.
By: Association for Scottish Literary Studies, Glasgow, 13 June 2011.
Price: £12.50
ISBN 978-1-906841-03-4

The work of Somhairle MacGill-Eain (Sorley MacLean), the greatest Gaelic poet of the 20th century, has a significance which echoes far beyond the confines of his time, his country and his language.

His extended political poem ‘An Cuilithionn’ (‘The Cuillin’), taking the celebrated mountain range in Skye as a symbol for the international revolutionary movement, has hitherto been known only in an abridgement, made fifty years after its initial conception in 1939 on the eve of World War II.

Christopher Whyte’s edition of the original manuscript includes 400 lines never before published, along with MacLean’s own English translation from the time of writing, and an extended commentary.

Forty-five other previously unpublished poems by Sorley MacLean also appear here for the first time, with facing English translations.

Christopher Whyte, whose edition of MacLean’s love poetry Dàin do Eimhir was met with acclaim in 2002, left his teaching post at the University of Glasgow in 2005 to write full-time. Himself a Gaelic poet, with four collections to his credit, he is also the author of four novels in English.


  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • An Cuilithionn 1939
    • Coisrigeadh (Dedication)
    • Earrann I (Part I)
    • Earrann II (Part II)
    • Earrann III (Part III)
    • Earrann IV (Part IV)
    • Earrann V (Part V)
    • Earrann VI (Part VI)
    • Earrann VII (Part VII)
  • Commentary
  • Textual Commentary
  • Glossary of Placenames, Personal Names, Historical Events and Abstract Concepts mentioned in ‘An Cuilithionn’
  • Unpublished Poems
  • Notes on the unpublished poems
  • Bibliography
  • Index


Last updated 27 May 2011.