Scotland has a long history of migration, not only to England, but also to the rest of the world. There is a “migrant tradition ” which has been well documented by historians or sociologists. Studies devoted to Scotland’s involvement in the Empire or to the Scottish diaspora show that emigration has become a leitmotiv which is difficult to ignore. 1 Writers themselves have often either been directly affected by this migration or have felt the need to address Scotland’s relations with the outside world. 2 One example is Robin Jenkins (1912–2005), presented by Isobel Murray as Scotland’s finest contemporary novelist. 3 In a lecture entitled “The Novelist’s Quest for a Suitable Theme ” Jenkins himself made this unexpected comment on the subject: It is a curious fact that Scots novelists have never regarded it as their duty to write about Scotland. I mentioned Sir Compton (Mackenzie), who presides over the literary scene in Edinburgh; but his reputation was established by books that had nothing to do with Scotland. Mr Eric Linklater is another a
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