Every year, the Gaelic congregation of Greyfriars Kirk hosts a public lecture on some aspect of Gaelic culture, language issues, history or literature. In recent years these lectures have covered the growth of Gaelic-medium education in Edinburgh, eighteenth-century poetry, steamships to St Kilda and the challenges and opportunities presented by the Gaelic Language Act.
This year, a century on from the outbreak of the First World War, it was felt appropriate that the lecture should concern this devastating conflict, which had such terrible consequences for Gaelic-speaking Scotland.
We are pleased, therefore, to announce that Annie MacLeod Hill, a doctoral student in Celtic and Scottish Studies at the University of Edinburgh, will be giving this year’s lecture. She will be discussing a group of Gaelic songs composed by women from the Islands of Lewis and Harris during the early years of the Great War. These songs offer insights into the poets’ perception of the
nature of war, its effect on individual families and on the islands as a whole. They show women responding to war as it unfolds, with no idea of when, how or even
if it would end. Taken together they are eloquently evocative of time and place, and of a generation cut off too soon.
This lecture is sure to appeal to anybody with an interest in Gaelic culture, song, the First World War, women’s literature and many other areas. Please do invite your friends along, they will be warmly welcomed.
The lecture will be delivered in English, and is free to attend. Refreshments will be served afterwards.