Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dance of the Apprentices

All pupils taking Higher English will have to learn at least one Scottish text under a new requirement by the Holyrood Government to ensure future generations of Scottish young people grow up with an understanding of their culture and literary heritage.

This blogger for Socialist Courier recommends that school students read "Dance of the Apprentices" - a socialist classic some say.

The novel gives a vivid account of the struggles of a Glasgow family from the first World War and into the Depression are at the end of the twenties. It is a story of Glasgow apprentices, their lives dignified with a desire for art and learning and with the ideal of reforming the world. The book follows the fortunes of one particular family - the Macdonnels. The mother dreams of success, struggling to raise her family and her ambitious husband out of slum life. A social critique of Glasgow.

Written by Edward Gaitens (1897 – 1966) who was born in the Gorbals of Glasgow. Leaving school at fourteen, he undertook a variety of casual jobs to support himself over the years. When the First World War broke out he became a conscientious objector and was imprisoned for two years in Wormwood Scrubs.

Feel free to share your own Scottish reading-list suggestions in comments.

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