List of fictional Scots

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The following notable Scottish characters have appeared in fictional works.

The Scottish people or Scots, are an ethnic group indigenous to Scotland. Historically they emerged from an amalgamation of Celtic peoples — the Picts, the Gaels, and the Brythons. The Latin word Scotti originally applied to a particular, 5th century, Gaelic tribe that inhabited Ireland.[1][2]

Authors of romantic fiction have been influential in creating the popular image of Scots as kilted Highlanders, noted for their military prowess, bagpipes, rustic kailyard and doomed Jacobitism. Sir Walter Scott's Waverley novels were especially influential as they were widely read and highly praised in the 19th century. The author organised the pageantry for the visit of King George IV to Scotland which started the vogue for tartanry and Victorian Balmoralism which did much to create the modern Scottish national identity.[3][4]

Fictional Scottish characters[edit]

  • Captain John "Soap" MacTavish - the protagonist of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and a key character in the second and third installments in the Modern Warfare trilogy. Although Soap does not speak in the first game, he is voiced by Kevin McKidd - a well-known Scots actor - in its sequels, and has a distinctive Scottish accent. He is often seen with a Union Jack patch on his uniform throughout Modern Warfare 2, but in the cutscene following his death in Modern Warfare 3 a Saltire patch is seen pinned to the wall beside his dogtags.
  • Dr. Finlay - the central character of popular stories by A.J.Cronin, set in the fictional village of Tannochbrae. Other characters included partner Dr Cameron, housekeeper Janet and rival Dr Snoddie.[13] The television productions have been seen as an example of modern Kailyardism.[14]
  • Groundskeeper Willie - a well-loved character in The Simpsons. He has flaming red hair and a powerful, muscular body.[18] A 2007 study conducted in the US concluded that Willie was the character that US residents "...most believe personifies the Scottish temperament."[19]
  • James Bond - following the success of Sean Connery in the role, author Ian Fleming gave Bond a mixed parentage - a Scottish father and Swiss mother. This background gave the character a colonial perspective, being an outsider in England.[22]
  • Montgomery Scott - the chief engineer in Star Trek, who was regularly ordered with the famous catchphrase, "Beam me up, Scotty".[27] The actor, James Doohan, was Canadian and auditioned with a variety of accents but suggested that Scottish would be best for the character, following the long tradition of Scottish nautical engineering. Director Gene Roddenberry liked the accent and so it was settled.[28]
  • Morrigan Aensland - the succubus in Darkstalkers, who got bored of ruling the Aensland castle and decided to be a native of Scotland on Earth out of boredom. In Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds, it is hinted that Morrigan's English voice actress, Siohban Flynn, despite being Welsh, spoke in a rather distinct Scottish accent for the character.
  • Para Handy - the captain of a puffer on the Clyde in the popular stories by Neil Munro, which have been filmed many times.[29] His crew included Dan Macphail, Dougie, Hurricane Jack, Sunny Jim and The Tar.[30]
  • Super Gran - TV show featuring a grandmother with super powers - by Jenny McDade from books written by Forrest Wilson and was produced by Tyne Tees Television for Children's ITV.
  • DCI Jim Taggart - the title character of the successful television drama about a Glaswegian detective, played by Mark McManus. The title persisted even after the lead character was killed off following McManus' death.[39]
  • Tam Lin - a knight in thrall to the Queen of Faerie in the ballad of that name.[40]
  • Several Scots stock characters are present in Brigadoon, first staged on Broadway in 1947. They are variously warriors, drunkards, overly thrifty as a result of Calvinism, or capable of unusual insights stemming from a close relationship to the natural world.[42]
  • In Oliver Oliphant's Bob, Son of Battle, Adam M'Adam is an 'an arrogant and scheming little Scotsman'.[44] The story, a children's classic, involves contests of skill and reputation between sheepdogs.

Real Scottish people who have been extensively fictionalised or mythologised[edit]

  • Macbeth as in Shakespeare's play.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bede used a Latin form of the word Scots as the name of the Gaels of Dál Riata.Roger Collins, Judith McClure; Beda el Venerable, Bede ({1999}). The Ecclesiastical History of the English People: The Greater Chronicle ; Bede's Letter to Egbert. Oxford University Press. p. 386. 
  2. ^ Anthony Richard (TRN) Birley, Cornelius Tacitus; Cayo Cornelio Tácito. Agricola and Germany. Oxford University Press. 
  3. ^ Walter H. Conser, Rodger Milton Payne, Southern crossroads 
  4. ^ "Scotland and Sir Walter Scott", The Economist, Jul 29, 2010 
  5. ^ Rick Fulton (Mar 22, 2010), "It's great to be a Scots redhead in the Tardis", Daily Record 
  6. ^ Gerard Carruthers (2009). Scottish literature. Edinburgh University Press. p. 128. ISBN 978-0-7486-3309-8. 
  7. ^ Andrew Nash, Kailyard and Scottish literature, p. 225 
  8. ^ Shawn Shimpach, Television in Transition: The Life and Afterlife of the Narrative Action Hero 
  9. ^ Christopher Harvie (2004). Scotland and nationalism: Scottish society and politics, 1707 to the present. Routledge. p. 99. ISBN 978-0-415-32725-1. 
  10. ^ Robert Kiely (1964), Robert Louis Stevenson and the fiction of adventure 
  11. ^ Mark Dykeman (2010), Desmond Hume from Lost 
  12. ^ Wanda Leibowitz (2007), Ten Facts About Henry Ian Cusick, Aka Desmond Hume on TV's Lost 
  13. ^ Robert Crawford, Scotland's books: a history of Scottish literature 
  14. ^ Andrew Nash (2007), Kailyard and Scottish literature, p. 234 
  15. ^ Neil Blain, David Hutchison (2008), The media in Scotland 
  16. ^ G. Gregory Smith, Scottish Literature, Character & Influence 
  17. ^ Charles Frederick Partington, The British Cyclopædia of Literature, History, Geography, Law, and Politics 
  18. ^ Cort Cass, The Redhead Handbook 
  19. ^ "Groundskeeper Willie is the classic Scot for Americans". The Scotsman. 2007-09-19. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  20. ^ Ronald Carter, John McRae, The Routledge history of literature in English: Britain and Ireland 
  21. ^ Fiona MacGregor (12 February 2008), "The greatest work of fiction?", The Scotsman 
  22. ^ Vivian Halloran, Ian Fleming & James Bond: the cultural politics of 007 
  23. ^ Berthold Schoene-Harwood, The Edinburgh companion to contemporary Scottish literature 
  24. ^ "TV Timewarp", The Journal, April 21, 2005 
  25. ^ J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Sparknotes 
  26. ^ Frank Northen Magill (1983), Survey of modern fantasy literature 
  27. ^ Stacey Endres, Robert Cushman, Hollywood at your feet, p. 330 
  28. ^ James Van Hise, The Man Who Created Star Trek, p. 26 
  29. ^ Neil Wilson, Alan Murphy, "Essential Scottish Reads", Scotland 
  30. ^ Alan Norman Bold, Scotland: a literary guide 
  31. ^ Jeffrey Richards, Films and British national identity: from Dickens to Dad's army 
  32. ^ Richard Webber, The complete A-Z of Dad's Army, p. 228 
  33. ^ John Corbett, Language and Scottish literature 
  34. ^ Maureen M. Martin (2009), "Redgauntlet, the Lowlands, and the Historicity of Scottish Nationhood", The mighty Scot 
  35. ^ Douglas S. Mack, Scottish fiction and the British Empire 
  36. ^ In DuckTales episode 26: "The Curse of Castle McDuck", Scrooge, the nephews, and Webby visit Scrooge's ancestral home in Scotland, only to be embroiled in a mystery surrounding Castle McDuck. Available on volume 1 DVD set.
  37. ^ Glasgow claims McDuck as its own, BBC, 1 October 2007 
  38. ^ Lucy Hewitt (24 December 2008). "Best fictional Scots character". The Scotsman. 
  39. ^ Adrienne Scullion, "Scottish identity and representation in television drama", Group identities on French and British television 
  40. ^ Graham Seal, Encyclopedia of folk heroes 
  41. ^ Hugh Walker, Three Centuries of Scottish Literature 
  42. ^ Colin McArthur (2003). Brigadoon, Braveheart and the Scots: distortions of Scotland in Hollywood cinema. I.B.Tauris Publishers. p. 107. ISBN 978-1-86064-927-1. 
  43. ^ Kirsten Stirling (2008). Bella Caledonia: woman, nation, text. Rodopi. p. 88. ISBN 978-90-420-2510-3. 
  44. ^ Mark Royden Winchell (1996). Cleanth Brooks and the rise of modern criticism. University of Virginia Press. p. 11. ISBN 978-0-8139-1647-7. 
  45. ^ Francis James Child, English and Scottish ballads 3 
  46. ^ Graham Seal, Encyclopedia of folk heroes