Alan Norman Bold (1943-1998) was a Scottish poet, biographer, and journalist.[1] He edited Hugh MacDiarmid's Letters and wrote the influential biography MacDiarmid.[2]


Bold was born in Edinburgh.[1]

Bold had acquainted himself with MacDiarmid in 1963 while still an English Literature student at Edinburgh University. His debut work, Society Inebrious, with a lengthy introduction by MacDiarmid, was published in 1965, during Bold's final university year. This early publication kick-started a prolific poetic career with Bold publishing another three books of verse before the end of the decade, including the ambitious book-length poem The State of the Nation. He also edited The Penguin Book of Socialist Verse (1970) and published a 1973 biography of Robert Burns.

Alan Bold married an art teacher, Alice; they had a daughter, Valentina, who is now head of Scottish Studies at the University of Glasgow at Dumfries.[3] A lifelong heavy drinker who dealt with the boozy life of the poet in such collections as A Pint of Bitter, Bold died in early 1998 in a hospital in Kirkcaldy at the age of 54.



  • Society Inebrious (introduction by Hugh MacDiarmid). Edinburgh: Mowat Hamilton, 1965.
  • The Voyage. Edinburgh: M. Macdonald, 1966.
  • To Find the New. London: Chatto & Windus / Hogarth, 1967.
  • A Perpetual Motion Machine. London: Chatto & Windus / Hogarth, 1969.
  • Penguin Modern Poets 15 (by Alan Bold, Edward Brathwaite, & Edwin Morgan). Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin, 1969.
  • The State of the Nation. London: Chatto & Windus, 1969.
  • He Will Be Greatly Missed: A poem. London: Turret, 1971.
  • A Pint of Bitter. London: Chatto & Windus, 1971.
  • This Fine Day. Dumferline, Fife, UK: Borderline Press, 1979.
  • In This Corner: Selected poems, 1963-1983. Edinburgh: Madconald, 1983.
  • Summoned by Knox: Poems in Scots. Paisley, UK: Wilfion, 1985.


  • East Is West: A novel. Tillydrone, Aberdeen, UK: Keith Murray, 1991.

Short fictionEdit

  • The Edge of the Wood. Barr, Ayrshire, UK: Luath Press, 1984.


  • A Century of People. London: Academy, 1971.
  • Robert Burns. London: Pitkin, 1973.
  • Bonnie Prince Charlie. London: Pitkin, 1973.
  • Scottish Clans. London: Pitkin, 1973.
  • Thom Gunn and Ted Hughes. Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd, 1976.
  • Scottish Tartans. London: Pitkin 1978.
  • George McKay Brown. Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd, 1978.
  • The Ballad: The critical idiom. London & New York: Methuen, 1979.
  • Scotland's Kings and Queens. London: Pitkin, 1980.
  • Modern Scottish Literature. London & New York: Longman, 1983.
  • MacDiarmid: The terrible crystal. London & Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1983.
  • Muriel Spark. London & New York: Methuen, 1986.
  • MacDiarmid: Christopher Murray Grieve: A critical biography. London: John Murray, 1988; Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 1988.
  • Who was Really Who in Fiction (with Robert Giddings). Harlow, Essex, UK: Longman, 1987.
  • Scotland: A literary guide. London: Routledge, 1989.


  • Mary, Queen of Scots. Hove, UK: Wayland, 1977.


  • The Penguin Book of Socialist Verse. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin, 1970.
  • Cambridge Book of English Verse, 1939-1975. Cambridge, UK, & New York: Cambridge University Press, 1976.
  • The Bawdy Beautiful: The Sphere book of improper verse. London: Sphere, 1979.
  • Smollett: Author of the first distinction. London: Vision Press / Totowa, NJ: Barnes & Noble, 1982.
  • The Sexual Dimension in Literature. London: Vision Press / Totowa, NJ: Barnes & Noble, 1983.
  • Byron: Wrath and rhyme. London: Vision Press / Totowa, NJ: Barnes & Noble, 1983.
  • Sir Walter Scott: The long forgotten melody. London: Vision Press / Totowa, NJ: Barnes & Noble, 1983.
  • Harold Pinter: You never heard such silence. London: Vision Press / Totowa, NJ: Barnes & Noble, 1984.
  • Muriel Spark: An odd capacity for vision. London: Vision Press / Totowa, NJ: Barnes & Noble, 1984.
  • The Letters of Hugh MacDiarmid. London: Hamilton, 1984; Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1984.
  • W.H. Auden: The far interior. London: Vision Press / Totowa, NJ: Barnes & Noble, 1985.
  • A Second Scottish Poetry Book. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1985.
  • Longman Dictionary of Poets: the lives and works of 1001 poets in the English language. Harlow, Essex, UK: Longman, 1985.
  • The Quest for Le Carre. London: Vision Press / New York: St. Martin's Press, 1988.
  • Dylan Thomas: Craft or sullen art. London: Vision Press / New York: St. Martin's Press, 1990.
  • A Burns Companion. London: Vision Press / New York: St. Martin's Press, 1991.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 Alan Bold, ed., The Penguin Book of Socialist Verse (Penguin Books, 1970), p. [1].
  2. Alan Bold (1943-1998), National Galleries Scotland. Web, May 9, 2014.
  3. Like her father, Valentina Bold is Robert Burns scholar. [1]
  4. Search results = au:Alan Bold, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, May 8, 2014.

External linksEdit

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