The rediscovery of Scotland's past and a wake-up call about its future, from a leading scholar-journalistScotland has a new Parliament and it has North Sea oil, but is it yet an independent, self-sustaining democracy? Is it a true nation? In Stone Voices, Neal Ascherson launches what he calls an imaginative invasion of his native land, searching for the relationships, themes, and fantasies that make up "Scotland."Beginning with a breathtaking portrait of the country's landscape, and of the way humanity has indelibly marked even its rockiest contours, Ascherson takes us on a journey through Scotland's past, interweaving his historical accounts with a rollicking report on a back-country bus expedition he joined during the 1997 referendum campaign that led to Scotland's first modern Parliament. He asked voters then what kind of country they hoped for, what they feared, and what they expected―questions that animate his book as well.In his search for a nation, Acherson explores many themes: the slow, hybrid formation of the Scottish people over centuries of successive immigrations; the way their most renowned intellectuals and writers came to hate the national church; the peculiar nature of their diaspora; the coexistence of their search for an "authentic" Scotland with the myths others create; and the Scots' proud sense of true independence. Stone Voices enlightens us about Scotland, about Europe, and about the conditions for freedom that we must all seek today."Greatly accessible compendium of scholarly passion." - Kirkus Reviews
Scotland - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
By: John Scotney
Culture Smart! provides essential information on attitudes, beliefs and behavior in different countries, ensuring that you arrive at your destination aware of basic manners, common courtesies, and sensitive issues. These concise guides tell you what to expect, how to behave, and how to establish a rapport with your hosts. This inside knowledge will enable you to steer clear of embarrassing gaffes and mistakes, feel confident in unfamiliar situations, and develop trust, friendships, and successful business relationships. Culture Smart! offers illuminating insights into the culture and society of a particular country. It will help you to turn your visit-whether on business or for pleasure-into a memorable and enriching experience. Contents include: * customs, values, and traditions * historical, religious, and political background * life at home * leisure, social, and cultural life * eating and drinking * do's, don'ts, and taboos * business practices * communication, spoken and unspoken
The Scottish Highlands (Interlink Cultural Histories)
By: Andrew Beattie
The Scottish Highlands form the highest mountains in the British Isles, a broad arc of rocky peaks and deep glens stretching from the outskirts of Glasgow, Perth and Aberdeen to the remote and storm-lashed Cape Wrath in Scotland's far northwest. The Romans never conquered the region, and in the Dark Ages the island of Iona became home to a Celtic Church that was able to pose a serious challenge to the Church of Rome. Few travellers ever ventured there, however, disturbed by the tales of wild beasts, harsh geography, and the bloody conflicts of warring families known as the clans. But after the defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie at the Battle of Culloden the influence of the clans was curbed and the Scottish Highlands became celebrated by poets, writers, and artists for their beauty rather than their savagery. In the nineteenth century, inspired by the travel reportage of Samuel Johnson, the novels of Walter Scott, the poems of William Wordsworth, and the very public love of the Highlands espoused by Queen Victoria, tourists began flocking to the mountains - even as Highlanders were being removed from their land by the brutal agricultural reforms known as the Clearances. With the popularity of hiking and the construction of railways, the fate of the Highlands as one of the great tourist playgrounds of the world was sealed.Andrew Beattie explores the turbulent past and vibrant present of this landscape, where the legacy of events from the first Celtic settlements to World War II, to the construction of military roads to mining for lead, slate, and gold have all left their mark.* Disputed Land: From Rob Roy, William Wallace, and Robert the Bruce, to Bonnie Prince Charlie and the clansmen who participated in the notorious massacre at Glencoe, the Highlands have provided the arena for centuries of conflict.* Folklore and Tradition: The wildness of the mountains has inspired a unique popular culture, from legendary tales of water-beasts and people with ''second sight'' to popular gatherings such as Ceilidhs and the Highland Games.* Scenic Inspiration: From visiting English poets such as Wordsworth and Byron, to native Scots writers such as Neil Gunn and Hugh MacDiarmid; from Turner to Mendelssohn; the scenery of the Highlands has inspired novelists, composers, poets, filmmakers, and artists through the centuries.
Savage and bloodthirsty, or civilized and peaceable? The Celts have long been a subject of enormous fascination, speculation, and misunderstanding. From the ancient Romans to the present day, their real nature has been obscured by a tangled web of preconceived ideas and stereotypes. Barry Cunliffe seeks to reveal this fascinating people for the first time, using an impressive range of evidence, and exploring subjects such as trade, migration, and the evolution of Celtic traditions. Along the way, he exposes the way in which society's needs have shaped our visions of the Celts, and examines such colorful characters as St. Patrick, Cu Chulainn, and Boudica.
When John McPhee returned to the island of his ancestors―Colonsay, twenty-five miles west of the Scottish mainland―a hundred and thirty-eight people were living there. About eighty of these, crofters and farmers, had familial histories of unbroken residence on the island for two or three hundred years; the rest, including the English laird who owned Colonsay, were "incomers." Donald McNeill, the crofter of the title, was working out his existence in this last domain of the feudal system; the laird, the fourth Baron Strathcona, lived in Bath, appeared on Colonsay mainly in the summer, and accepted with nonchalance the fact that he was the least popular man on the island he owned. While comparing crofter and laird, McPhee gives readers a deep and rich portrait of the terrain, the history, the legends, and the people of this fragment of the Hebrides.
The broad sweep of Scotlands story, both past and present, is chronicled by one of the countrys best historians. Andrew Fisher begins with Scotlands first people and their culture and ends with Devolution and the setting up of the first Scottish parliament since 1707. Before the arrival of the Vikings in 900, Scotland was a land of romantic kingdoms and saints, gradually overtaken by more pragmatic struggles for power. Centuries of bloody strife lead up to the turbulent years of Mary Queen of Scots, the Calvinistic legacy of John Knox, and the bitterness of final defeat. The dreams of the Jacobites are contrasted with the cruel reality of the end of the Stewarts and the Act of Union with England. Scotland now saw an age of industry and despoliation. The result was much emigration and obsession with the nations past, which glorified the legends of the Highlander and the Clans. In this century, the loss of identity and drift to the south have perhaps been checked at last by a new step forward for Scotland as a result of its Devolution, the setting up of a Scottish parliament, and the symbolic return of the Stone of Destiny. This handy paperback is fully indexed with a chronology of major events and a gazetteer cross-referenced to the main text. It is illustrated with line drawings and historical maps.
Celtic Prayers from Iona: The Heart of Celtic Spirituality
By: J Philip Newell
J. Philip Newell and his wife Ali were cowardens of the lay religious community of Iona Abbey in the Western Isles of Scotland. There Philip developed this book as an aid to daily prayer. Here is a weekly cycle of morning and evening prayers in the Celtic tradition, with gospel and psalm readings taken from the liturgical year. Each "day" reflects a concern of the Iona Community: justice and peace, healing, the goodness of creation and care for the earth, commitment to Christ, communion of heaven and earth, and welcome and hospitality.
To the Hebrides: Samuel Johnson's Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland and James Boswell's Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides
By: Brand: Birlinn Ltd
Samuel Johnson and James Boswell spent the autumn of 1773 touring through the Lowlands and Highlands of Scotland as far west as the islands of Skye, Raasay, Coll, Mull, Inchkenneth and Iona. Both kept detailed notes of their impressions, and later published separate accounts of their journey. These works contain some of the finest pieces of travel writing ever produced: they are also magnificent historical documents as well as portraits of two extraordinary men of letters. Together they paint a vivid picture of a society which was still almost unknown to the Europe of the Enlightenment. Entertaining, profound, and marvelously readable, they are a valuable chronicle of a lost age and a fascinating people. For the first time, Ronald Black's edition brings together Johnson's and Boswell's accounts of each of the six stages of the two men's journey—Lowlands, Skye, Coll, Mull and back to the mainland. Illustrated with prints by Thomas Rowlandson, it includes a critical introduction, translations of the Latin texts and brief notes.
"Nicolson's chronicle is a fine book . . . Readers will be duly awed by his delicately layered story." -The New York Times Book ReviewIn 1937, Adam Nicolson's father answered a newspaper ad for a small cluster of three islands-The Shiants (Gaelic meaning "holy" or "enchanted")-which lie east of the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. Sheer black cliffs drop five hundred feet into the cold, dark, rip currents of the Minch, lounging seals crowd at their feet and thousands upon thousands of sea birds swarm overhead in the sky. Nicolson inherited the islands when he was twenty-one and in this spellbinding and luminous book, he recalls his keenly deep connection to the wild, windswept, and yet enchantingly beautiful property. Not merely a haven of solitude, the islands, with a centuries-old past haunted by restless ghosts and tales of ancient treasure, came to be for Nicolson his heartland and a "sea room"-a sailing term he uses to mean "the sense of enlargement that island life can give you." In passionate, prismatic prose, Sea Room celebrates this extraordinary landscape, exploring Nicolson's complicated relationship to the paradoxes of island life and the wonder of revelatory engagement with our natural world.
The Marches: A Borderland Journey between England and Scotland
By: Rory Stewart
From the best-selling author of The Places in Between, “a flat-out masterpiece” (New York Times Book Review), an exploration of the Marches—the borderland between England and Scotland—and the people, history, and conflicts that have shaped it In The Places in Between Rory Stewart walked through the most dangerous borderlandsin the world. Now he walks along the border he calls home—where political turmoil and vivid lives have played out for centuries across a magnificent natural landscape—to tell the story of the Marches. In his thousand-mile journey, Stewart sleeps on mountain ridges and housing estates, in hostels and farmhouses. Following the lines of Neolithic standing stones, wading through floods and ruined fields, he walks Hadrian’s Wall with soldiers who have fought in Afghanistan and visits the Buddhist monks who outnumber Christian monks in the Scottish countryside today. He melds the stories of the people he meets with the region’s political and economic history, tracing the creation of Scotland from ancient tribes to the independence referendum. And he discovers another country buried in history, a vanished Middleland: the lost kingdom of Cumbria. With every step, Stewart reveals the force of myths and traditions and the endurance of ties that are woven into the fabric of the land itself. A meditation on deep history, the pull of national identity, and home, The Marches is a transporting work from a powerful and original writer.
Orkneyinga Saga: The History of the Earls of Orkney (Penguin Classics)
Written around AD 1200 by an unnamed Icelandic author, the Orkneyinga Saga is an intriguing fusion of myth, legend and history. The only medieval chronicle to have Orkney as the central place of action, it tells of an era when the islands were still part of the Viking world, beginning with their conquest by the kings of Norway in the ninth century. The saga describes the subsequent history of the Earldom of Orkney and the adventures of great Norsemen such as Sigurd the Powerful, St Magnus the Martyr and Hrolf, the conqueror of Normandy. Savagely powerful and poetic, this is a fascinating depiction of an age of brutal battles, murder, sorcery and bitter family feuds.For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Scotland: A Literary Guide for Travellers (The I.B.Tauris Literary Guides for Travellers)
By: Garry MacKenzie
Voted a Best Travel Book of the Year by The Scotsman, 2016With its vibrant cities and breathtaking landscapes, Scotland has captivated writers and visitors for centuries and inspired a diverse range of literature, from the religious poems carved on the rocks of its sacred monuments to the seedy urban novels of Irvine Welsh. For Robert Burns, Scotland's iconic poet, the culture of his native country was a fertile ground for his imagination. Sir Walter Scott drew on the nation's past, and on the stirring mountains and lochs of the Highlands, as he pioneered the historical novel. Some of the most famous early literary tourists, including James Boswell, Samuel Johnson, and Dorothy and William Wordsworth, wrote captivating accounts of their travels in Scotland. This enthralling guide gets under the skin of the country through the writers who lived in or visited Scotland, as well as those who simply imagined it in their work―from Shakespeare, Ben Jonson and the Scots 'Makars' of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, to Keats, Coleridge and Robert Louis Stevenson; from Gaelic bards and anonymous balladeers to the cosmopolitan Hugh MacDiarmid, Jackie Kay, Ian Rankin and Kathleen Jamie. Famous figures sit alongside writers sometimes overlooked by literary travellers, and through their lives and words we experience the rich, fractious, and passionate story of Scottish culture and discover how Scotland's history, landscape and society are brought to life in literature. Organized by different areas of the country, the book is filled with excerpts from the writer's works and letters, as well as extensive text features, including several photographs of notable sites, a map with key sites higlighted, an extensive author profiles section with short bios of the writers and their works, a chronology of Scotland's cultural and political history, a bibliography for further reading, and an index for handy reference.
"The most romantic parts of this narrative are precisely those which have a foundation in fact."Edward Waverley, a young English soldier in the Hanoverian army, is sent to Scotland where he finds himself caught up in events that quickly transform from the stuff of romance into nightmare. His character is fashioned through his experience of the Jacobite rising of 1745-6, the last civil war fought on British soil and the unsuccessful attempt to reinstate the Stuart monarchy, represented by Prince Charles Edward. Waverley's love for the spirited Flora MacIvor and his romantic nature increasingly pull him towards the Jacobite cause, and test his loyalty to the utmost.With Waverley, Scott invented the historical novel in its modern form and profoundly influenced the development of the European and American novel for a century at least. Waverley asks the reader to consider how history is shaped, who owns it, and what it means to live in it - questions as vital at the beginning of the twenty-first century as the nineteenth.ABOUT THE SERIES:For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.