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Metadata for text 64
No. words in text70365
Title Dùn-Àluinn no an t-Oighre ’na Dhiobarach (Dunalaine or the Banished Heir)
Author Mac Cormaic, Iain
Editor MacFarlane, Malcolm
Date Of Edition 1912
Date Of Language 1900-1949
Publisher Alasdair Gardner
Place Published Paislig
Volume N/A
Location National and academic libraries
Geographical Origins Mull
Register Literature, Prose
Alternative Author Name Mac Cormick, John
Manuscript Or Edition Ed.
Size And Condition 19cm x 13cm
Short Title Dun-Aluinn
Reference Details NLS: T.89.f
Number Of Pages 267, plus 8 pages of other books published under the same imprint
Gaelic Text By N/A
Illustrator N/A
Social Context Born in Mull in 1860, John MacCormick spent most of his life in Glasgow. He authored a number of books, short stories, and plays in Gaelic. His stories are mostly adventure stories, and his style also owes something to traditional narrative. His other works include the novel Gun D’Tug I Spéis Do’n Armunn, published in 1908; the collection of short stories Oiteagan o’n Iar (Text 70), also published in 1908; and An t-Agh Odhar. The Dun Heifer: a Humorous Gaelic Sketch, published in 1931. MacCormick died in 1937. For more information on MacCormick and on this novel in particular, see Kidd’s article cited below.
Contents The text begins with a Clàr-Ìnnsidh (pp. 7-8). The main body of the text is presented in 27 chapters.

The first chapter is set at the deathbed of Bean Dhùin-àluinn. Her young son Cailean is with her and she tells him to look after the new baby girl, Mòr – his only surviving sibling. Chapter 2 looks at the history of Dùn-àluinn, at Cailean’s father and mother, and informs us that his father spent most of his time away from home and did not care much for his family. On the death of his wife, however, he returns home and goes to see his newborn daughter, Mòr.

The story follows the lives of Dùn-àluinn, his family, and others in the community, after his wife’s death. Dùn-àluinn eventually marries a French woman whose husband was shot in suspicious circumstances. The rest of the family believe this woman is up to no good, and, as the family fortunes begin to fail, Dùn-àluinn begins to evict his tenants. Only the minister is on the tenants’ side. After an argument with his father, Cailean leaves his home, and his girlfriend, Màiri, and her mother are later forced to leave. The minister is also forced to give up his position. Mòr is sent to England to be educated and Dùn-àluinn and his new wife have two daughters and a son. The evictions stop. Eventually news reaches Dun-àluinn that Cailean has died on a boat on its way to Australia. Everything is now in place for the new wife’s family to inherit the Dùn-àluinn estate, just as she had intended.

Chapters IX and XX are set in New Zealand, where Cailean, despite reports to the contrary, is alive and well. Eventually, almost ten years after he left, Cailean returns to Dùn-àluinn with an English friend, Warnock. He pretends to be a stranger until he hears what has happened in the community during his absence. Dùn-àlainn dies shortly after Cailean’s return. At last Cailean confronts his father’s new wife and reveals his true identity to the community. When she presses her claim to the estate, Cailean reveals that his friend Warnock is in fact her husband who did not die as supposed. She therefore has to forfeit the estate and is sent to prison. Cailean finds Màiri and Mòr and he and Màiri get married.
Sources
Language This text is written in a natural, flowing style. Of particular interest is the large amount of direct speech in the text, which provides us with numerous examples of conversational Gaelic from the early twentieth century. Examples include: “Ciod è tha ’n so?” ars esan. “Tha: iarrtas deireannach mo mhàthar”, (p. 36), “An spliadhaire spàgach,” ars Eachann. “Gheibh mise mo latha féin fhathast air. Cha phàigh an obair ud dà. Stadadh sibhse.” (p. 50), a ghluig (p. 51), “A chiall, a chiall!” (p. 59), A dhearg chealgair! A shlaightire gun nàire! (p. 77), Ochan; ochan! (p. 125), An dà, gu dearbh féin (p. 156), Fheara (p. 156), O, Mhoire, Mhoire! (p. 166), O, da-rìreadh glan a tha mi (p. 167), Mo thogair! (p. 211), Am bheil sibh ag ràdh rium? (p. 220), Leòra fhéin (p. 229), An eadh? (p. 229), and Seadh (p. 229). The direct speech also contains a number of imperative forms, such as Na cluinneam e! (p. 93) and Thallamaid a nis dhachaidh (p. 125).

The text also contains terms and phrases relating to evictions and land agitations, such as Còirichean an fhearainn (p. 109), Buinidh am fearann do ’n Stait a mhàin (p. 136), Thug an rìgh, no ’n crùn, cinn-bheartas do ’n cheann-fheadhna thairis air fearann a’ chineil (p. 138), Cùl-riutha! Cùl-riutha! (p. 139), tigh mór nam maithean an Lunnainn, agus bho ’n ionad sin riaghail iad an dùthaich (p. 140), Nuas na maithean! (p. 140), Na cealgairean! (p. 140), tha mise ’g ràdh gur tràillean sibh (p. 140), Sin agaibh na diùcan. Sin agaibh na ridirean rìomhach. Sin agaibh na h-iarlachan, ’s na barain, ’s na h-uachdarain air fad (p. 141), tha mi ’n aghaidh mi-riaghailt agus creachadh sluagh na dùthcha le duaisean ana-cearta, ana-cuibheasach, agus mi-riaghailteach (p. 152), bàirlinn (p. 155), and an Tigh Pàrlamaid a’ chlachain (p. 155).

The following phrases and expressions are also of interest: ’s a chì thu mi fo ’n fhòid (p. 10), is neagaid aige le trioblaid thruim (p. 10), cleas na neasa ’s an tàrmachain (p. 22), Bha i cho suairc ’s a bha esan cho duairc (p. 22), fo dhruim a thighe féin (p. 26), naoidheag (p. 26), Chunnaic e dreòsadh na coinnle (p. 30), Tha fios nach ’eil ann ach mo thoilltinneas (p. 32), sgrog e a bhoineid air (p. 51), fìor choltas an t-slaightire (p. 51), ’s iad air achlaisean a chéile (p. 55), bhiodh tathaich mhór air (p. 56), Ciod è ’sam bith am faireagan a ghabh Eachann, bha aogasg an uamhais air (p. 57), Ciod è air thalamh tha ’n so (p. 57), dh’ éirich breamas am mach (p. 69), ciod é ’sam bith mar a thachair e (p. 71), Tha thu cèarr fad do dhroma, is cha ghoirid e (p. 150), Cha ’n ’eil fhios a’m (p. 165), teintreach nan neul a’ boillsgeadh os cionn nam beann (p. 208), Bha trì dùirn de ’n oidhche ann nuair a ràinig iad (p. 220), an dà luidealach (p. 234), and Dh’ fheuch iad a nunn ’s a nall e (p. 237).
Orthography Items of linguistic interest, including some typical of the Gaelic of Mull, appear throughout the text, e.g. air mo thàilleamh (p. 11), an dìlleachdan (p. 11), math dh’ fhaoidteadh (p. 20), an drùth-lann (p. 21), chùignear (p. 26), cha deanadh sud feum tuillidh (p. 27), Eadhon (p. 47), uair air bith (p. 49), agus na bha stigh a’ triotan ghàireachdaich (p. 50), a nunn (p. 58), Tha dreag cuideiginn ann (p. 59), dheanainn cleas na circe air (p. 61), an dara fear (p. 74), ag ìnnseadh (p. 83), ’s e sràidimeachd air an ùrlar (p. 85), da-rìreadh (p. 156), a ghuala (p. 156), and mèananaich (p. 156). We also find both their (p. 140) and deir (p. 153). The author uses the form aona frequently, e.g. aona mhic (p. 9), solus na h-aona ghealaich (p. 10), and anns an aona chom (p. 26). The passive conditional of several verbs ends in -teadh, e.g. cha ’n fhaighteadh (p. 25), cluinnteadh (p. 155) and cha ’n fhairichteadh (p. 155).

The orthography used in the text is generally that of the early-to-mid-twentieth century. Of interest are the spellings of Glascho (p. 3), là-arna-mhàireach (p. 241), and a nasgaidh (p. 52); the use of a’ cur, rather than ag cur, as used by some other authors of this period (p. 72); subject pronouns with initial s- when followed by an object pronoun, e.g. Shìn se e féin (p. 102) and phòg se i (p. 177). The following genitive forms are used: air Gaidhealtachd na h-Albann (p. 25), mu choinneamh teinidh (p. 73), and ag òl dibhe (p. 79).
Edition First edition. A second edition was published in Glasgow by Alexander Maclaren & Sons, in 1925 or 1926. The second edition appears to be a reprint of the first edition. A third edition was published in 2003 by Llanerch Press, Cribyn. The third edition can be found in the National Library of Scotland.
Other Sources
Further Reading Kidd, Sheila M., ‘The Forgotten First: John MacCormick’s Dùn-Àluinn’, Scottish Gaelic Studies 22, 2006, pp. 197-219.
Thomson, Derick S. (ed.), The Companion to Gaelic Scotland, 1994.
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