Hugh MacDiarmid

(3558 words)
  • Kirsten Matthews (University of Glasgow)

“Hugh MacDiarmid” was the pseudonym of Christopher Murray Grieve (1892-1978), born in the small Border town of Langholm in Dumfriesshire, the eldest of two sons of John Grieve, a local postman, and Elizabeth Graham, the daughter of a farm labourer. When Grieve first introduced “MacDiarmid” in 1922, as the author of lyric poems in Scots published in the Scottish Chapbook, he presented his readership with a persona that was to dominate the Scottish vernacular movement and the growth of Scottish Nationalism in the 20s and 30s. As Grieve’s career developed, the figure of Hugh MacDiarmid came also to champion both a communist social ethic and national self-determination, while generating voluminous “…

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Matthews, Kirsten. "Hugh MacDiarmid". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 June 2005
[, accessed 05 July 2015.]

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