Iain Crichton Smith

(Iain MacGhobhainn)

1928 - 1998

Poet, novelist and teacher. Born in Lewis and educated at the Nicholson Institute (Stornoway) followed by the University of Aberdeen. Crichton Smith's profession was a teacher, and he taught in Clydebank, Dumbarton and then Oban from 1955 until 1977. He was noted for his prolific output, both in his native Gaelic and in English, exploring themes of island culture and religion. His first collection of poems, The Long River, appeared in 1955, followed in 1960 by Burn Is Aran, a collection of Gaelic stories and poems.

Crichton Smith is probably best known for his 1968 novel Consider The Lilies, which explores the effect of the Highland clearances on an old woman and her betrayal by the Free Church. His other works include My Last Duchess (1971), An End To Autumn (1978) and Murdo And Other Stories (1981). He was awarded an OBE in 1980, won several prizes for literature and was awarded an honorary degree by the Universities of Aberdeen, Dundee and Glasgow.

He died at his home in Taynuilt (Argyll and Bute).

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