THE death has been announced of Professor Douglas Gifford, the long-serving former professor of Scottish literature at Glasgow University.

The Association of Scottish Literary Studies said he died peacefully on Sunday afternoon with his wife, Anne, at his side. The university tweeted that he was “an inspirational teacher and passionate advocate of Scottish literature since the 1960s and a man with a lifelong commitment to research and education”. Tributes have been paid from across Scottish academic and literary circles.

Douglas Gifford was a hugely charismatic teacher, loved by generations of students

The poet Stuart Paterson wrote on Facebook: “Sad news indeed. One of the most approachable and most knowledgeable academics involved (and he really was) in and with Scottish literature and writers, many still on the go, over a long period. Very sorry to hear he’s passed away.”

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Professor Gerard Carruthers, Francis Hutcheson chair of Scottish literature at Glasgow University, said: “Douglas Gifford was a hugely charismatic teacher, loved by generations of students from the 1960s onwards. He was one the pioneers of teaching Scottish Literature in the universities and an accomplished broadcaster of, and citizen for, the subject.

“He published widely on the 19th and 20th centuries and had an encyclopaedic knowledge, especially, of the Scottish novel. He published excellent studies of James Hogg and Lewis Grassic Gibbon and Neil Gunn, as well as wide-ranging surveys of Scottish literature.

"His editing of Volume III of the Aberdeen History of Scottish Literature on the 19th century was a landmark study both by Professor Gifford himself and by his contributors. His conceptualisation of the volume which brought together the history of ideas, social history and literature opened up many new paths for our understanding of Scottish culture in that century.

"No-one has done more to influence the love of Scottish literature and its teaching among Scottish school-teachers over many years. He was tireless in delivering hundreds of public talks on his subject. He is irreplaceable but his legacy is the scholarship he has left behind and the thousands of individuals he influenced and goes on influencing.”