The Mainstream Companion to Scottish Literature is the most comprehensive reference guide to Scotland's literature, covering a period from the earliest times to the early 1990s. It includes over 600 essays on the lives and works of the principal poets, novelists, dramatists critics and men and women of letters who have written in English, Scots or Gaelic. Thus, as well as such major writers as Robert Henryson, William Dunbar, Gavin Douglas, Allan Ramsay, Robert Fergusson, Robert Burns, Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson and Hugh MacDiarmid, the Companion also lists many minor writers whose work might otherwise have been overlooked in any survey of Scottish literature.
Also included here are entries on the lives of other more peripheral writers such as historians, philosophers, diarists and divines whose work has made a contribution to Scottish letters.
Other essays range over such general subjects as the principal work of major writers, literary movements, historical events, the world of printing and publishing, folklore, journalism, drama and Gaelic. A feature of the book is the inclusion of the bibliography of each writer and reference to the major critical works. This comprehensive guide is an essential tool for the serious student of Scottish literature as well as being an ideal guide and companion for the general reader.