This image is the cover for the book Dance of the Apprentices, Canongate Classics

Dance of the Apprentices, Canongate Classics

A classic novel of city life in Glasgow and one Scottish family’s dreams and struggles in the years between the Great War and the Depression.

In Dance of the Apprentices, Edward Gaitens set down what many agree is “the best writing that exists about Glasgow’s badlands.” It tells the story of three young apprentices, their lives dignified with a desire for art and learning and the ideal of reforming the world. But the book also follows the fortunes of the Macdonnel family, and a mother who dreams of social success while struggling to raise her family and her ambitious husband out of slum life (James Campbell, from the introduction).

Caught in the melting pot of social injustice, revolution, war, and pacifism, this powerful book gives a vivid account of Glasgow from the First World War and into the Depression at the end of the 1920s. Even at its saddest, the humor of life flashes from the page in comic description and witty observation.

With an introduction by James Campbell

Edward Gaitens, James Campbell

Edward Gaitens 1897-1966), 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. In the 1930s he started to write, and his early attempts were greatly encouraged by his fellow Glaswegian, the successful dramatist James Bridie, who had become chairman of the Glasgow Citizens' Theatre at the time.A number of Gaiten's short stories were first published in the Scots Magazine. mostly based on his own life in the Gorbals, these were later collected as Growing Up and Other Stories (1942). Six of these stories were incorporated into Dance of the Apprentices (1948), a novel of city life and the turbulent years between the First World War and the Depression. Gaitens continued to write from time to time during the years in which he lived - virtually anonymously - in London and Dublin. Growing Up ... and Dance of the Apprentices remain his only published books.