This is the fourth book in a "Saltire" series examining the significance of Scottish history, philosophy and the Scots language. Here, the Distinguished Italian academic Carla Sassi examines Scotland's literature from the earliest times to the late 20th century and offers new and fascinating insights into the nature of nationhood and identity, and the way in which these are reflected in, and the inspiration for, literary output at various periods. The major historical influences are covered including relations with England, religious division, enlightenment philosophy and the Union of 1707, but Professor Sassi also examines Scotland's role in the British imperial adventure and the impact on literature of the coloniser / colonised experience. She makes a special study of the contribution of women writers and the writers of the 20th century 'Renaissance' and concludes with speculation on the future of 'Scottish' literature in a post-modern Scotland exposed to global cultural influences and living in the new political world heralded by the restoration of the Holyrood Parliament. Carla Sassi is Associate Professor of English literature at the University of Verona. She specialises in Scottish literature and has published and lectured widely on this subject, both in Italy and in other countries. Her most recent book, Imagined Scotlands (2002), is a study on post-Union Scottish literature. She has a special interest in women's writing and in the literature of post-colonial societies. She is Honorary Patron of the International Anthony Burgess Foundation. This work comes with an introduction by poet and writer Colin Donati.