Elected: 1996
Discipline: Language, Literature and History
Professor Thomas Douglas Macpharlain Gifford FRSE

Emeritus Professor of Scottish Literature, University of Glasgow.

Douglas Gifford grew up in Glasgow, attending Hillhead High School, and spent some of his boyhood also in Orkney and elsewhere in Scotland due to his father being a locum doctor. His mother was a teacher of children with special educational needs, and he contemplated a career in school-teaching himself with a brief period as an uncertificated teacher in the highlands before becoming an academic. A first-class honours MA in English Language and Literature from the University of Glasgow led to a Balliol scholarship at the University of Oxford where Douglas was not entirely happy, largely due to his view that his supervisor and other English faculty members cared nothing and knew even less about nineteenth-century Scottish fiction to which he was increasingly drawn as an under-researched area of scholarship. Many of his happiest times in Oxford were spent running, a talent which he pursued for well over fifty years and only gave up when diagnosed a few years ago with a heart arrhythmia, a common occurrence in long-term runners. Read more about Douglas Gifford