Welcome

Welcome to the website of the project ERSKINE which explores the Gaelic magazines founded by Ruaraidh Erskine of Mar in the first decades of the twentieth century and their impact on the development of Gaelic literature and Scottish national movement. The project, which aims to map the magazines and the Scottish and international networks of their contributors, is investigated by Dr Petra Johana Poncarová (Marie Curie Fellow) and Prof. Murray Pittock

Ruaraidh Erskine of Mar (1869–1960) was an influential activist, author, and editor, deeply involved in the cultural and political flux at the fin-de-siècle and in initiatives related to Scottish independence and revitalisation of Gaelic. He founded five Gaelic periodicals: Am Bàrd (‘The Poet’, 1901–1902, monthly), Guth na Bliadhna (‘The Year’s Voice’, 1904–1925, quarterly), Alba (‘Scotland’, 1908–1909, weekly), An Sgeulaiche (‘The Storyteller’, 1909–10 monthly, 1910–11 quarterly), and An Ròsarnach (‘The Rose Garden’, 1917, 1918, 1921, 1930, annual). These attracted a network of local writers and international contributors, were instrumental in the creation of modern Gaelic literature and journalism and combined a cosmopolitan outlook, political radicalism, and popular appeal. With their sustained interest in developments in other Celtic countries and in Europe, and progressive ideas about reforming and promoting Gaelic culture, they served as hubs of international cooperation and roots of creative industries, as they encouraged the emergence of the first Gaelic novels and supported the development of Gaelic drama.

ERSKINE is supported by Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, guaranteed by UKRI, and carried out at the University of Glasgow in 2023–2025.