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Metadata for text 62
No. words in text122066
Title Cailin Sgiathanach no Faodalach na h-Abaid (A Maid of Skye or The Foundling of the Abbey)
Author MacLeòid, Seumas
Editor N/A
Date Of Edition 1923
Date Of Language 1900-1949
Publisher Alexander MacLaren & Sons
Place Published Glasgow
Volume N/A
Location National and academic libraries
Geographical Origins Harris
Register Literature, Prose
Alternative Author Name MacLeod, James
Manuscript Or Edition Ed.
Size And Condition 18.8cm x 13cm
Short Title Cailin Sgiathanach
Reference Details EUL: .891633Macl
Number Of Pages 364
Gaelic Text By N/A
Illustrator N/A
Social Context Seumas MacLeòid was born in Scalpay, Harris, in 1880. He went to school in Scalpay and after he left, he worked as a herdboy on Taransay. He then moved to Glasgow where he worked in a shop for a while before opening up a shop of his own. After a spell in the army during the First World War, MacLeòid returned to Scalpay and opened a shop there. He married Iona Chaimbeul from Oban and they had one son. MacLeòid was the maternal uncle of Norman MacCaig.

MacLeòid wrote two books in the 1920s, while living on Scalpay: Cailin Sgiathanach in 1923, and Highland Waif, an English language book, in 1928. He also wrote short stories and poetry, some of which were published in contemporary magazines. In 1923, he won second prize in the competition for the Bardic Crown at the National Mòd in Oban. He died in 1947.

Cailin Sgiathanach begins with Domhnull and Mor Ross adopting a little girl, Morag, from Abaid Chille-Chuimein (p. 9). Chapter Two is set twenty years later, in Skye, as Morag’s sweetheart, Alasdair Caimbeul gets ready to leave on board the emigrant ship the Hector, on his way to Nova Scotia. The story then follows the lives of Morag, her parents, and a number of locals. Morag is told that Alasdair died of a fever in France in order that she agree to marry Eoghain Mac’Illeathain. In the end, Morag discovers that she has been lied to and that Alasdair is still alive.
Contents This volume begins with An Leth-Taobh (pp. 5-6), a short aside by the author in which he discusses some of the places that are mentioned in the book. This is followed by some acknowledgements in Mo Chul-Taic (p. 7), and by a Clar-Innsidh (p. 8).

The main body of the text comprises 14 chapters as follows: I. An Sgìre Loch-capair (pp. 9-13), II. An Ceann Fichead Bliadhna (pp. 14-28), III. Bàrlach Cuain (ppp. 29-50), IV. Rasaidh (pp. 51-73), V. Fearsaid is Fuaidreadh (pp. 74-109), VI. An Iobairt Réitich (pp. 110-30), VII. Una Dhòmhnullach (pp. 131-45), VIII. Slighe Réidh (p. 146-66), IX. Gràdh air a sgoltadh (pp. 167-88), X. An-iochd na Foill-choltais (pp. 189-207), XI. An Fheoil togarrach ri Seann Chleachdaidhean (pp. 208-51), XII. An Cruaidh-ghleachd ris an Dìomharachd (pp. 252-300), XIII. Eu-cinnte (pp. 301-31), and XIV. Gaol gun truailleadh (pp. 332-64).
Sources
Language This volume contains vocabulary relating to a variety of subjects and the text is verbally rich. In many ways, the language used by the author seems is noticeably old-fashioned. For example, the second paragraph on p. 85 begins: ‘Tha e cho nàdurra do’n duine teicheadh ’on chroislich a ta bruthadh air eanchainn agus a tha da [sic] ceum a dheanamh le a chois. Ni h-eadh, tha de ladarnas air cuid a ghairmeas air mhullach nan tighean gu’n d’fhuair iad saorsa ri linn na coiseachd. Ach ciod a thug saorsa dhoibh?’. The text contains both tha (e.g. p. 134) and a ta, e.g. a thaobh nan cnàmhan a ta i a’ comhdachadh (p. 12) and car son a ta thusa an so (p. 25). We also find a number of examples of the negative form Ni h-eadh (e.g. p. 184).

Some sailing terms are scattered throughout the text, for example, ‘Chaidh geimhlich is acair a tharruing air bòrd le làmhan lùghmhor agus cainbe a chrochadh ri crann’ (p. 28) and ‘Bha a trì chruinn àrda luchdaichte le cainbe’ (p. 32). The text also contains some housing terms, e.g. air sparran an tighe (p. 19), gu fraighean an tighe (p. 19), na seann chabair (p. 19), ri taobh an talainte (p. 358), anns an t-seòmar uachdraich (p. 168), and a chum a’ bhrat-ùrlair (p. 169).

Other expressions of interest include mór-thimchioll an tighe (p. 9), bha an chachaileith umha a’ tionndadh gu slaodach air na cruinn stailinn (p. 10), brat-folaich m’a ceann (p. 10), air an steòrnadh (p. 10), seòmar beag ceithir-chearnach (p. 10), an duineachan beag (p. 10) and nighneagan beaga (p. 11), gu fiata (p. 11), an tràth seo (p. 11), bha aireamh mhor air ceann teaghlaich (p. 13), and air cothrom is ceud cothrom a thoirt (p. 31). Also of interest is the frequent use of so-, e.g. so-bhrosnachail (p. 30), and the Gaelic spelling of Lochabar as Loch-capair (p. 9).

A number of pages contain footnotes explaining a particular word or phrase. For example, on p. 197 we find ‘Sheas e fa chomhair an Rosaich, agus fheòil cosmhuil ri earnach* an smàl na cagailt’. The footnote reads ‘Galar a’ chruidh: gorm, dubharach’. On p. 9 we find ‘tharruing e fàisniche na h-aitreabh le tapachd’. A footnote tells us that Fàisinnis means ‘mi uaigneach’ and Fàisniche means ‘ni a chuireas gluasad annad’ (p. 9).
Orthography While in some respects the language of this text seems old-fashioned (see above), the orthography is generally speaking that of the early-to-mid-twentieth century.

The author’s dialect may be reflected in the use of forms such as siorramachd (p. 9), a gheabhtar (p. 9), faiteachas (p. 11), fo chionn treis (p. 12), le feath-ghàire (p. 14), a reir coslais (p. 30), focal (p. 32), an dàra turus (p. 38), Chan urrainn mi (p. 19), Ni mò a rinneadh (p. 21),  (p. 25), and the frequent use of chum instead of chun, e.g. Choisich am fireannach le suspuinn chum a’ gheata (p. 9) and chum na mionaid (p. 13). Also of interest are the vocabulary and forms: an tula bhreugaire (p. 5), fiù is (p. 6), an tiota (p. 9), Dhruid e a bheul (p. 11) and dhruid i an dorus (p. 11), a’ sniosail air na ludagain (p. 13), Bha am feasgar air teachd (p. 14), gu eachlaidh (p. 15), ’san ionad-adhlacaidh (p. 15), Cha do labhair Uisdean dùrd (p. 27), Bhiodh Cathal mu mheadhon-latha de aois (p. 29), and the author’s frequent use of a theagamh (e.g. p. 55), da-rìreadh (e.g. p. 168), Cia lion turus (e.g. p. 169), and Chan fhiosrach mise (e.g. p. 173).
Edition First edition.
Other Sources
Further Reading Moireasdan, Dòmhnall R., ‘Seumas MacLeòid’, Gairm 108, 1979, pp. 353-54.
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