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The Guidman's Daughter

Maclean Dubois
Publication Date
01 September 2009
Available for Sale
Maclean Dubois

The Guidman's Daughter

'Erudite, philosophical, and perfectly formed, stamped with Marsh's knack for seeking out beauty of universal importance within the smallest of nature's offering,' - The Scotsman

Henry Marsh is one of the finest poets writing in Scotland today. His delicate, beautifully expressed verse has already achieved critical and popular acclaim; now, in this collection, he returns with a wonderfully fresh new offering. Familiar themes are well-represented – the shores and hills of the Hebrides and the Western Highlands, the changing elements of the Scottish landscape, the meeting of land and water – but alongside this the poet leads us quietly and courteously into a personal territory of friendship, love, reflection. Whatever the topic of the poem, the voice is consistently wise, and gentle too; the effect is both subtle and moving. In reading these beautiful lines we realise that we are in the presence of an urbane and sympathetic companion.

The title of the collection, The Guidman’s Daughter, refers to a special cycle of poems at the end of the book, concerned with Mary, Queen of Scots, the daughter of James V (the Guidman o’Ballengeich, as he was known). It is impossible not to be intrigued by the life of this tragic figure, and the poet’s observations, so skilfully wrought, only add to the poignancy of her ill-fated tale.


Henry Marsh was born in Broughty Ferry, Dundee in 1944. He now lives in Midlothian. His working life has been spent teaching English – with a bit of philosophy. His Ph.D thesis is a study of the modes of imagination. He began writing poetry in 2000 following the death of a friend, a Gaelic Bard, Donald MacDonald of South Lochboisdale. Four collections of his work have so far been published – A First Sighting, A Turbulent Wake,  The Guidman’s Daughter and The Hammer and the Fire.



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