A summary of the history of the Glasgow Sutherlandshire Association is available on our sister website, Glasgow’s Literary Bonds (see ‘Additional Notes’ below).
According to the preface in this printed magazine, the contributions to the issue were originally read at an association meeting held on 12 January 1899 at what would have been commonly called a ‘Magazine Evening’.
‘Magazine Evenings’ or ‘Magazine Nights’ were meetings that were devoted to the reading of original essays (or occasionally poems) written by group members that were submitted to the Magazine Editor beforehand. The Editor would be responsible for collecting, occasionally selecting, and reading the pieces aloud to the group (more rarely this was done by the contributor him/herself) on the appointed night. This would be followed by ‘criticism’ — or discussion on the piece’s positive and negative points — by the group members.
After the meetings, these contributions were sometimes bound and saved in the society’s library (if they had one) or would be kept by one of the office bearers. In these cases, it was intended that the magazine was to be preserved and that group members would have access to it at a later date. It is of note that literary and mutual improvement groups used the term ‘magazine’ to refer to the oral as well as the material medium.
This issue is a small volume of 39 pages with five non-fiction essays by authors who, with one possible exception (Rob Rogart; Rogart is a village as well as a parish in Sutherland), use Gaelic names or place names as pen-names. To give two examples, ‘Suilvein’, is the author of ‘A Communion Sunday in Assynt’. Suilvein is a prominent mountain in the west of Sutherland. This article gives a picturesque, reverential description of the landscape and the people of this parish who attend a Sunday service in early June presumably during recent times.
The second example is the pen-name,’Cluaidh’, which is Gaelic for Clyde, referencing the River Clyde in Glasgow. ‘Cluaidh’ is the pen-name of the author of ‘What’s in a Name?’, which is an essay on the assigning and changing of personal names. The piece ends with a commentary on the then recent debate on Rob Donn’s surname and its relative unimportance when compared to the appreciation of his art as a poet.
Interestingly, an excerpt from Donn’s poetry, along with from Dr Charles Mackay, is also included in the first article, ‘Extracts from “Glimpses of Sutherland Long Ago.” By “Craggandhu.”‘. (Rob Donn was a Gaelic poet from the area. For more information about Donn, see the article, ‘Rob Donn Mackay (1714 – 1778)‘, on the Scottish Poetry Library website. For more information about Dr Charles Mackay, see: Calder, Angus. ‘Mackay, Charles (1812–1889), poet and writer’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004) <https://doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/17555> [24 April 2018]).
Name of Club, Society or Group That Produced the Magazine
Glasgow Sutherlandshire Association
Date of Existence
Date of Magazine
12 January 1899
Number of Issues
Manuscript, later in print (Glasgow: Archibald Sinclair, “Celtic Press”, 1899)
Contents and Contributions
Poems (republished material); Preface; Essays; Table of Contents
University of Glasgow Library
Glasgow Sutherlandshire Association, ‘Papers contributed to [the] Manuscript magazine. 12 January 1899’ (Glasgow: Archibald Sinclair, “Celtic Press”, 1899) (Library Research Annexe, Store 25964)