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Scottish Literature and Expressions of Freedom

Occasional Papers series No. 21

Edited by Ian Brown, David Clark
and Rubén Jarazo-Álvarez

Published in: Paperback.
By: Scottish Literature International, Glasgow, November 2016.
Price: £19.95 / €22.95
(USA $25.95, Canada $25.95)
ISBN 9781908980212

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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, from 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
  • Acknowledgements
  • Liberty and Scottish Literature (Alan Riach)
  • Allan Ramsay’s A Dialogue on Taste: a painter’s call to break free from English artistic conventions (Marion Amblard)
  • ‘A Common Right of Mankind’ or ‘A Necessary Evil’? Hume’s contextualist conception of political liberty (Gilles Robel)
  • Versions of freedom and the theatre in Scotland since the Union (Jean Berton)
  • Freeing the tongue: Scots language on stage in the twentieth-century (Ian Brown)
  • The nature of aesthetics in the works of Mary Brunton, Hugh MacDiarmid and Alasdair Gray (Andrew Monnickendam)
  • Scotland and the literary call to freedom in Mary Brunton’s fiction (María Jesús Lorenzo Modia)
  • Rivers, freedom and constraint in some of Stevenson’s autobiographical writing (Lesley Graham)
  • Freedom and subservience in Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s Sunset Song (Philippe Laplace)
  • Women and freedom in Muriel Spark’s fiction (Margarita Estévez-Saá)
  • Looking at America from Edinburgh Castle: postcolonial dislocations in Alice Munro’s and Ann-Marie MacDonald’s Scottish fictions (Pilar Somacarrera)
  • Scottish and Galician background in Pearse Hutchinson’s poetry: freedom, identity and literary landscapes (José-Miguel Alonso-Giráldez)
  • ‘Shall Gaelic Die?’: Iain Crichton Smith’s bilingualism – entrapment or poetic freedom? (Stéphanie Noirard)
  • Henry Adam’s Among Unbroken Hearts (2000): Mankind’s desperate quest for freedom (Danièle Berton-Charrière)
  • Notes on Contributors



Last updated 30 November 2016.