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Challenge to select right Scots texts

I AGREE with the policy to oblige pupils to answer a question on Scottish literature from 2013-2014 and was interested therefore to see the proposed list of works that could be studied ("Works chosen for Scottish literature question named", The Herald, November 28).

I am also a great admirer of James Robertson and think his works deserve to be studied. However, I think that to ask 15-16-year-old pupils to cope with The Testament of Gideon Mack is asking too much. It is a fine novel which I greatly enjoyed but would make in my view unreasonable demands on pupils (and maybe their teachers). The fact that I am a minister helped me to understand much of the detail of the story and the significance of the narrative.

It is a fairly long book and has various layers of meaning – which were interestingly spelt out by James Robertson himself at an Aye Write! session a few years ago. It would be quite a challenge to read it, and a challenge as well to set questions on it. It is perhaps more suitable for the Higher paper.

Rev David A Keddie,

21 Ilay Road,


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