Robert McLellan

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Robert McLellan OBE (1907–1985) was a Scottish dramatist and poet, mainly writing in the Scots language.

Early life and education

McLellan was born in 1907 at Linmill, a fruit farm in Kirkfieldbank in the Clyde valley, the home of his maternal grandparents. He was educated at Bearsden Academy in Glasgow before studying philosophy at the University of Glasgow. However, he did not complete his degree because of ill-health. He met his future wife, Kathleen Heys while climbing in the Lake District. They were married in 1938 and settled in Arran where they lived modestly on his income as a playwright.

First Plays

McLellan dedicated himself to writing in Scots, the living language of the communities he grew up in. As he himself said in an article written for The Scottish Field in 1956: “When I found that what I wanted most to do in life was to write for a Scottish Theatre I knew that I should always be poor, but I consoled myself with the thought that I could at least live where I liked.” Drama in Scotland was undergoing a resurgence in the early twentieth century and the Glasgow Repertory Company was one of the outlets for talented new Scottish writers such as McLellan. Respected amateur companies like the Scottish National Players and the Curtain Theatre also premiered his work. His first play was the one act comedy, Jeddart Justice, set in the feuding Border country of the sixteenth century. (Jeddart, or Jedburgh, Justice is condemnation without a hearing.) It...
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