Being A ScotBook - 2008
"My first big break came when I was five years old. It's taken me more than seventy years to realise that. You see, at five I first learnt to read. It's that simple and it's that profound. I left school at thirteen. I didn't have a formal education... It has been a long return journey from my two-room Fountainbridge home in the smoky industrial end of Edinburgh opposite the McCowans' toffee factory. There was no bathroom with a communal toilet outside. For years we had only gas lighting. Sometimes the light in the shared stairway would be out after some desperado had broken the mantle to bubble gas through milk for kicks."
Although he is an indubitably international superstar, Sir Sean Connery still knows the city of Edinburgh practically street by street from delivering the morning milk as a schoolboy. His round included Fettes College, where Ian Fleming had sent his fictional James Bond after he was expelled from Eton. 'Being a Scot' is a vivid and highly personal portrait of Scotland and its achievements, which is self-revelatory whilst full of Sir Sean's desire to shine light upon Scottish success and heroic failure.
His personal quest with his friend and co-writer Murray Grigor has been to seek answers to some perplexing questions. How did Scots come to devise so many new sports and games, or raise others to new heights? What gave fire to the Gothic tendency in Scottish literature? Why have so many creatively inventive and influential architects been Scots? Where did Scotland's unreal blend of psychotic humour originate? And what about the national tradition of self-deprecation sometimes called the Scottish cringe? Sean Connery offers a correction to misconceptions that many believe are part of the historical record whilst revealing as never before his own vibrant personal history.