The Gaelic proverb Bidh an (t-)ubhal as fhearr air a’ mheangan as àirde can be literally translated as “The best apple is always on the highest branch.” The phrase An (t-)Ubhal as Àirde “the Highest Apple” is an idiom implying the cream of the crop. It is a fitting idiom and image to use for the title of the first anthology of Scottish Gaelic literature – in prose and poetry, from its beginnings in the 7th century to the 21st century – providing a canon of more than 200 verbal masterpieces in Scotland’s oldest surviving language. Scottish Gaels have always considered literature to be the most refined and valued form of art and cultural expression, and the material in this canonical collection demonstrates their mastery of their craft.
I am pleased to announce this massive volume (over 800 pages), which I’ve been working on with my friend Prof. Wilson McLeod of Edinburgh University for many years. It will appear in the Lesser Used Languages of Europe Anthologies series from Francis Boutle Publishers.
The official blurb (found on the book’s webpage itself):
This is the first comprehensive anthology of the Gaelic literature of Scotland, from the early Middle Ages to the present day. It includes more than 200 texts from a wide range of genres, including poems and songs of praise, devotion, love, work and war, folktales, medieval romances, short stories, novels and plays, from different corners of the Gaelic diaspora in addition to Scotland itself. English translations accompany the Gaelic originals. The volume also contextualises the position of Gaelic in Scotland across the ages with texts that reflect varying perceptions of the social role and significance of the language.
ISBN 978 1 9164906 8 0