Lewis Grassic Gibbon, pseudonym of James Leslie Mitchell Biography
(1901–35), pseudonym of James Leslie Mitchell, A Scots Quair, Aberdeen Journal, Scottish Farmer, Hanno, Stained Radiance
Scottish writer, born in Aberdeenshire; he grew up in Kincardineshire, the setting of his great trilogy, A Scots Quair (1932–4). He worked on the Aberdeen Journal and Scottish Farmer before joining the Royal Army Service Corps and the RAF, travelling extensively throughout Persia, India, and Egypt. His experiences enliven his early fiction, Hanno (1928), Stained Radiance (1930), and The Calends of Cairo (1931), and a further group of novels—The Thirteenth Disciple (1931), Three Go Back (1932), and The Lost Trumpet (1932)—express his interest in the then fashionable theory of Diffusionism. The three volumes of A Scots Quair (Sunset Song, 1932; Cloud Howe, 1933; and Grey Granite, 1934) comprise an epic account of the tensions and contradictions within Scottish history, seen through the life of a young woman, Chris Guthrie, voiced in a vigorously colloquial Scots. Chris's life takes her from country to town and city, and the narrative both intensifies a personal history and invests it with mythic resonance. The author's political sympathies are also prominent in Spartacus (1933). Gibbon was involved in various projects associated with Hugh MacDiarmid, and he is a pivotal figure in the Scottish Renaissance.