On Thursday 4th April 2019 we had a talk by Gillian Hughes. She was introduced by our Chairman, Prof. Peter Garside.
I’m delighted to welcome again Dr Gillian Hughes as a speaker to the Club. Gillian completed her doctorate at the University of Edinburgh under the supervision of Professor Ian Campbell, also with us this evening. Gillian’s thesis was on James Hogg, a rather unusual subject as that time when Hogg was treated as a very minor figure if not an object of fun by some literary critics. She then went on to provide a centrepiece for the revival of Hogg and his works which took place over the next two decades, serving as General Editor of the Stirling / South Caroline Collected Edition, for which she edited or co-edited no less than nine volumes, including the Collected Letters. She also single-handedly edited the journal Studies in Hogg and His World for the first of its twenty-one annual issues, as well as authoring the standard biography, James Hogg: A Life (2007), shortlisted for a Saltire Prize and the subject of a well-attended session at the Literary Festival. Since then she has spread her wings in a number of directions, this including her role as Advisory Editor to the New Edinburgh Edition of the Works of Robert Louis Stevenson, for which she has promptly edited The Weir of Hermiston (2017), one of the four volumes as yet to come out. More recently she has fallen closer into the orbit of Walter Scott, collaborating with myself on a volume of his Shorter Poetry shortly to appear as the second of a new 10-volume edition of the Poetry to be published by Edinburgh University Press. Gluttons for punishment, the two of us our now working on the early stages of an edition of J. G. Lockhart’s Peter’s Letters to His Kinsfolk (1819), a kaleidoscopic view of Scottish culture at that time, this for a collected edition of Lockhart’s Works being planned by Professor Tom Richardson (who is also with us this evening). All in all, I can think of no-one living better equipped to comment on the intricacies of Edinburgh society and culture during the early decades of the 19th century. It’s the still largely hidden aspects of a vital component of this world, its theatre, which she is going to talk about today.
Read the full transcript of her talk here