"Fall 2021 - Sir Walter Scott: History Man?"

Many still regard kilts and Highland dancing and tartan and pipe bands as kitsch, but they can’t deny that they are distinctive, unmistakeable, and instantly recognizable. Many other nations must covet (and would perhaps trade a few aircraft carriers for) cultural symbols so identifiable and popular. Sir Walter Scott, the Unionist, played a key role in rescuing Scotland’s culture, nationhood, and distinctiveness at a time when they were under threat. Ironically, he provided the symbolic underpinning of today’s Scottish independence movement. When independence supporters march with saltires and lions rampant and tartan and pipe music, they’re failing to escape Sir Walter Scott …


David McVey lectures at New College Lanarkshire in Scotland, specializing in communication. He has published over 120 short stories and a great deal of non-fiction, from newspaper articles to academic papers. He enjoys visiting historic sites, hillwalking, reading, and watching soccer.


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