Did you know the Battle of Bannockburn had its own poet-in-residence? Starting in 1314 and coming right up to the present day, poet and critic Robert Crawford examines how writers have set out in poetry, fiction, plays and on film the ideal of Scottish independence. Beginning with medieval commemorations of Bannockburn, this sweeping and ambitious book also includes the most detailed consideration of what independence meant to Robert Burns. Concentrating on Scottish writing, it considers, too, imaginative work by male and female authors from England to North America and Australia. This book is full of surprises: from the bestselling Romantic fiction from Surrey that nourished Braveheart to the subtle, Manhattan-born nationalist sparring partner of Hugh MacDiarmid. Bannockburns helps explain the intellectual formation of modern Scottish nationalism, and concludes with a detailed look at how contemporary Scottish authors have reacted in their writing to the arguments of Scotland's independence referendum. This is the only book to set out in full what Scottish independence has meant in literature. It shows how for 700 years the Battle of Bannockburn has remained a key reference point.