A “detailed, vivid and fascinating” biography of one of Scotland’s most fascinating literary figures (Sunday Herald).
Hamish Henderson lived one of the great lives of twentieth-century Scotland, a dramatic life of epic European scale, a life of major artistic, political, and spiritual achievement. Well-known as a songwriter, a poet, and a pioneer in the field of Scottish folksong, Henderson was also a highly original translator of poetry—from Gaelic, French, German, Latin, and Greek—much of it into Scots. He also translated the work of the Italian socialist Antonio Gramsci, whose “Prison Letters” he published in English in 1974.
Born in Blairgowrie, Perthshire, in 1919, Hamish Henderson spent his early years in Glenshee before moving to Ireland and then Devon. He won a scholarship to Dulwich College and went on to study Modern Languages at Cambridge. During the Second World War he served in North Africa and Italy with the 51st Highland Division. He died in March 2002. This book, a major study of this charismatic and fascinating man, presents both a detailed biography and an assessment of his place in the context of the twentieth century. It is based on firsthand interviews with those who knew Henderson both personally and professionally, as well as detailed research of published and unpublished sources.