The Destabilisation of Gender and National Boundaries in Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s A Scots Quair: A Long Nineteenth-Century Perspective

  • Carla SassiEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Nineteenth-Century Writing and Culture book series (PNWC)


This chapter explores the nexus between nation and gender in Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s A Scots Quair, one of the most iconic texts of modern Scottish literature. By questioning canonical readings of the trilogy, focused on a conventionally nationalist stance or on the “realistic” components of Gibbon’s masterpiece, it attracts the attention on its subtle, radical re-drawing of gender and national boundaries, especially in relation to its two central characters, Chris and her son Ewan. The chapter identifies a subtle androgynous subtext in the trilogy—a (cross-)gender imagi-nation, interestingly reverberating the perspective of a number of nineteenth-century Scottish literary texts. While Gibbon’s trilogy may not be consistently radical, it nonetheless creates a “dislocated” discursive system, whose inherent tensions and ambivalences powerfully subvert contemporary notions of nation and gender identity.


Nation and gender identity Lewis Grassic Gibbon A Scots Quair Androgyny in literature Queer nationalism Long nineteenth century 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of VeronaVeronaItaly

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