How Scottish Writers Might Vote on IndependenceSeptember 24, 2014

J.K. Rowling donated one million pounds to pro-UK Better Together campaign, ran by British Labour Party politician Alistair Darling. The Member of Parliament (MP) for Edinburgh South is Rowling's friend and former neighbour. The author of the “Harry Potter” fantasy series is a resident of Edinburgh since 1993, and in a 1,600-word essay in her website, she explained why she isn't in favour of Scotland bolting away from Great Britain.

"If we leave, there will be no going back. This separation will not be quick and clean: it will take microsurgery to disentangle three centuries of close interdependence, after which we will have to deal with three bitter neighbours," she said.

In Aberdeen, David Cameron struck a note of passion missing from much of the No campaign.

"If you don't like me - I won't be here forever. If you don't like this government - it won't last forever. But if you leave the UK - that will be forever," he said.

Blair Jenkins, chief executive of Yes Scotland, said the prime minister's speech was “the same litany of empty threats and empty promises”. But it worked. The Scottish independence referendum took place on September 18. The voters answered with “Yes” or “No”, was “Should Scotland be an independent country?” About two million voters, or 55.3 percent of the populace, were not in favour of independence. The result is of great interest to the Commonwealth of Nations, Australia in particular. Some of us want to be a republic someday, but it remains to be seen if it happens.

What is the stance of Scottish writers on the referendum? Irvine Welsh, the author of “Trainspotting”, made an impassioned, personal plea for an independent Scotland. How about the others? This can be a good game to play. Let's close our eyes and imagine these esteemed figures in front of us:

J.M. Barrie. Expect the author of “Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up” not to register. He might be in Neverland.

James Boswell. The author of “Life of Samuel Johnson” would be in favour of independence. He was a major supporter of the Corsican Republic. He came from Scotland, and couldn't help it.

Arthur Conan Doyle. It will be no. Readers could see Sherlock Holmes being an upstanding Victorian gentleman. If they don't (because he come across as too peculiar), then they can look at Dr. Watson. He might be horrified by the thought of splitting off from the British Empire.

Muriel Spark. It would be yes, and like Jean Brodie, the most memorable character she created, her campaign would be an exaggerated romantic view of independence.

Robert Louis Stevenson. This would be a tough call. His writing career brought him to many places, so he may not be around. But if he were based in Scotland, it would be yes. The reason might be personal. (English literary figures like Virginia Woolf condemned his writings, which was why his works weren't taught in schools.)

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