The notion of "freedom" has long been associated with a number of perceptions deemed fundamental to an understanding of Scotland and the Scots. Thus Scottish history is viewed, resistance to the Roman Empire, to the Wars of Independence against England, to the eighteenth-century Jacobite uprisings, to the birth of the Labour and Trade Union movements. Key Scottish texts have the concept of liberty at their core: the Declaration of Arbroath, Barbour's Brus, Blind Hary's Wallace, the poems of Robert Burns and Hugh MacDiarmid and the novels of Janice Galloway and Irvine Welsh. Scottish thinkers have written extensively on the philosophies of freedom, be it individual, economic, or religious. These essays examine the question of "freedom", its representations and its interpretations within the literatures of Scotland.
Introduction 1. Liberty and Scottish Literature 2. Allan Ramsay's A Dialogue on Taste: a painter's call to break free from English artistic conventions 3. 'A Common Right of Mankind' or 'A Necessary Evil'? Hume's contextualist conception of political liberty 4. Versions of freedom and the theatre in Scotland since the Union 5. Freeing the tongue: Scots language on stage in the twentieth-century 6. The nature of aesthetics in the works of Mary Brunton, Hugh MacDiarmid and Alasdair Gray 7. Scotland and the literary call to freedom in Mary Brunton's fiction 8. Rivers, freedom and constraint in some of Stevenson's autobiographical writing 9. Freedom and subservience in Lewis Grassic Gibbon's Sunset Song 10. Women and freedom in Muriel Spark's fiction 11. Looking at America from Edinburgh Castle: postcolonial dislocations in Alice Munro's and Ann-Marie MacDonald's Scottish fictions 12. Scottish and Galician background in Pearse Hutchinson's poetry: freedom, identity and literary landscapes 13. 'Shall Gaelic Die?': Iain Crichton Smith's bilingualism - entrapment or poetic freedom? 14. Henry Adam's Among Unbroken Hearts (2000): Mankind's desperate quest for freedom Notes on Contributors