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Playing Scotsmen in mainland Europe
Author: David Hesse

Twenty-first-century Scottish play-acting draws depth and energy from a European and Western tradition of dreaming Scottish dreams, and this tradition dates back to at least the late eighteenth century, to the beginnings of European Romanticism. This book explores how contemporary celebrations of Scotland build upon earlier Scottish fantasies. The Scottish dreamscape is one of several pre-modern counter-worlds which have been approached through imitation in the past. The book examines the 'Scotland' that is on the play-actors' minds. The Scottish dreamscape was formed in an eighteenth- and nineteenth-century process now best known as Highlandism. It was then that Scotland became associated with the aesthetics and supposed characteristics of its Highland periphery. The book also explores the Scottish dreamscape's spread via the channels of the British Empire and American popular culture. It identifies five key carriers which helped to disseminate the Scottish aesthetic across the world, namely epic poetry, the Highland regiments, music hall entertainment, Hollywood films, and romance novels. The book further focuses on fieldwork conducted in 2009 and 2010. It sheds some light on the different forms of Scottish play-acting, on musicians, athletes, commemorators, and historical re-enactors. The pipers and athletes do not imitate the past; they perform in what they hope are old but living Scottish traditions. Commemorators and historical re-enactors have a different aim. They seek to recreate the past in the present. Finally, the book identifies some of the main reasons for the Scottish dreamscape's special resonance in northern and western Europe.

David Hesse

performances. The popular search for history since 1945 has had a strong focus on physical sensation, and Scottish history – with its bagpipes, kilts, and swords – makes a better weekend history than others. Finally, the Scottish dreamscape is charged with ideas of heroism and martial valour. To play Scotsmen means to play soldiers. Scottish dreams are warrior dreams. This martial charge appears to resonate with many of today’s history enthusiasts in north-­western Europe. There may be another reason for Scotland’s popularity. The European heritage enthusiasts portrayed here

in Warrior dreams
Eric Richards

mercantilist and imperial aspirations which went badly awry. The scale and ambition of the project were beyond the financial scope of the Scots, who also lacked adequate political leverage in the context of Caribbean rivalries among the European powers. The Scottish dream The original scheme had generated spectacular excitement across Scotland and its manic enthusiasm puzzled

in Imperial expectations and realities
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British and Irish diasporas: societies, cultures and ideologies
Donald M. MacRaild, Tanja Bueltmann and J.C.D. Clark

British Atlantic World, 1689–1764 (Princeton, NJ, 2001). For example, Suzanne Rigg, Men of Spirit and Enterprise: Scots and Orkneymen in the Hudson’s Bay Company, 1780–1821 (Edinburgh, 2011). Hechter, Internal Colonialism. 18 british and irish diasporas 21 See, for example, John Prebble, Darien: The Scottish Dream of Empire (Edinburgh, 2000 edn). 22 A new study by two of the co-editors of this collection challenges that established view: Tanja Bueltmann and Donald M. MacRaild, The English Diaspora in North America: Migration, Ethnicity and Association, 1730s–1950s

in British and Irish diasporas
David Hesse

, I would still argue that the Scots of Europe have a number of transnational features and local peculiarities which this study was able to identify. All this said, fieldwork was not enough. The contemporary enthusiasm for the Scottish dreamscape has a deeper history. While the continental pipe bands and clan societies described here do not predate 1945, the ideas that inspire them are much older. Twenty-­first-­century Scottish play-­acting draws depth and energy from a European and Western tradition of dreaming Scottish dreams, and this 12 Warrior dreams

in Warrior dreams