17/09/2014

SCOTLAND WANTS TO REWRITE HISTORY: GUN DEID LEAT!

Glasgow - 17th September 2014
Come what may, British history will be rewritten with 18th September 2014  referendum. The Scottish want their complete independence from the UK, not the palliative autonomy they have been offered so far.
I'm not Scottish, I love Britain as it is, with all its different nations and peculiarities, so I decided I'll be watching this extraordinary event without taking sides, with great respect for the passionate political campaign of the YES! front,  as well as for the matter-of-fact worries of the NO! party. 

Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland
I'll be giving a lesson to my oldest students tomorrow titled: "Fighting for a flag of blue and white". We will read articles and listen to interviews about the Scottish referendum and will revise the historical events involving Scotland we studied last year: Mary Stuart and her rivalry with Queen Elizabeth I, which ended up with the beheading of the Scottish Queen; the ascent to the English throne of Mary's son, James VI of Scotland after Elizabeth's death,  which meant the unification of the two reigns under one crown in 1605; the 1688 Bloodless Revolution, which led to the dethronization of  the Catholic  line of the Stuart dynasty.

In the second part of the lesson we will move to literature and start discussing Walter Scott's Waverley and its historical context - the Jacobite uprising of 1744-46. In that novel, Charles Edward Stuart,  Bonnie Prince Charlie, is one of the historical figures interacting with the fictional ones created by the great Scottish writer, father of the historical novel.


Sir Walter Scott
The noble Scottish race exalted by Sir Scott in Waverley (1814) for their value, bravery and honour,  fought to restore a Catholic  monarch on the throne of England and Scotland united. The message in that novel is that, in moments of crisis and conflict, the best solution is the convenient compromise, in our case embodied by the hero himself, young Edward Waverley: he is one of the officers in the Hanoverian army,   who then leaves and betrays his mates to join the highlanders of clan MacIvor and is in the end pardoned by King George II of Hanover because of his act of generosity toward one of the English officers during the battle of Culloden (1746) 
Claire and Jamie - Outlander Starz 

I'll invite my students to go back home and check the news coming from Scotland all day long. However the vote goes, this will remain a day to remember for Scotland. 

As for me, I'll be waiting for the outcomes in trepidation. I really don't know what is better for Scotland and its citizens, but the passionate fight for a country in blue and white is quite exciting: Gun d√©id leat!  

On a shallow note, I'll be virtually in Scotland at the weekend, watching Outlander episode 7, The Wedding, with my friends, an enthusiastic bunch of Diana Gabaldon's fans. We'll drink a toast to Jamie and Claire's happiness:  Slainte mhath!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I first came to Britain because I was in love with Scotland and, although I settled in the North of England, I am still in love with Scotland. The thought of Scotland being seceded from the rest of the UK is a very painful one. Scotland has its own identity, its own autonomy and its own life already, but it has been supported for all these 300 hundred of years by the rest of the UK. I am afraid of what can happen to Scotland if it goes alone. There won't be any return. In the last weeks I spoke to a lot of Scottish friends all over Scotland and all over the country too and, although the temptation of becoming independent is very alluring, there is a lot fear for the future. In WWII this country stood alone but united against Hitler and no other country could ever match that. Unity is strength, division is weakness. If Scotland vote 'yes' many many hearts will be broken, including mine. A.xx

Vesper Meikle said...

Unfortunately as an English woman married to a Scotsman both of us received racial abuse while living in the other's country - one of the many reasons we left Britain but we both will be listening to the unfurling of the events tomorrow