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The best of BBC Radio 3's flagship arts and ideas programme Free Thinking - featuring in-depth interviews and debates with artists, scientists and public figures.

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The Free Thinking Festival Essay: The Medieval Scottish Dream State

November 16th, 2015

Episode 1060 of 1219 episodes

The 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum and this year's general election led to a passionate debate about nationhood and nationalism. But not for the first time. Kylie Murray of the University of Oxford discusses the ways in which feelings surrounding Anglo-Scottish relations and visions of Scottish national identity reached a peak of imaginative, sometimes intemperate expression in 15th-century Scottish literature. Among the jewels - Abbot Walter Bower’s Scotichronicon, the most re-published text in Scotland for the next two hundred years – and the inspiration behind one of Scotland’s greatest epic poems, Blind Harry’s The Wallace, where two hundred years after the Wars of Independence, the old hero is virtually re-invented as a second messiah. The New Generation Thinkers are the winners of an annual scheme run by the BBC and the Arts and Humanities Research Council to find academics at the start of their careers who can turn their research into fascinating broadcasts. The Essay was recorded in front of an audience at the Free Thinking Festival at Sage Gateshead. If you want to hear Kylie Murray discussing her research you can download The Essay and conversation as an Arts and Ideas podcast.

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