Scotland: The Story of a Nation

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9780002571487: Scotland: The Story of a Nation

A timely and vivid look at Scotland’s long and difficult road to nationhood, re-exploring some cherished myths and unearthing a wealth of fascinating new detail.

Magnus Magnusson’s starting-point is Sir Walter Scott’s classic version of Scotland’s history, Tales of a Grandfather. Since its first appearance in 1827-29, Scott’s book has moulded the views of generations of Scottish schoolchildren. It told the story of Scotland from the point of view of a deeply patriotic Tory who believed that the nation’s destiny had been fulfilled with the Union of Parliaments in 1707.

Like Scott, Magnus Magnusson is a master story-teller. He takes the reader through Scotland’s history from the earliest Mesolithic settlers on the island of Rum to the establishment of the new Scottish parliament in 1999. In investigating the many questions raised by the nation’s turbulent and often poignant past, he gives full weight to the ‘people’s history’ of Scotland – the living treasure of local legends and tradition which he believes has as much resonance as academic analysis.

Where did the ‘Scots’ come from? To what extent was Scotland shaped by the viking raids and settlements? What happened to the Picts? What is the truth about such historical figures as Macbeth and William Wallace? Was Robert Bruce really inspired by a spider in a cave? What was the significance of the tragic reign of Mary Queen of Scots? Who were the Covenanters? What really lay behind the Massacre of Glencoe? What were the long-term effects of the 1707 Treaty of Union with England? What was the impact of Jacobitism, the ’45 Rising in support of ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’ and its brutal defeat at Culloden?

Taking account of the latest research, and incorporating the findings of many leading modern historians, Scotland: The Story of a Nation casts the nation’s history in a fascinating and often surprising new light. It is essential reading for anyone with an interest in Scotland at this pivotal moment in its history.

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From the Back Cover:

In 'Scotland: The Story of aNation', Magnus Magnusson provides a timely and vivid look at Scotland's long and idfficult road to nationhood, re-exploring some cherished myths and unearthing a wealth of fascinating new detail.

His starting-point is Sir Walter Scott's classic version od Scotland's history, 'Tales of Grandfather,'. Since its first appearance in 1827-1-29, Scott's bok has moulded the views of generations of Scottish schoolchildren. It told the story of Scotland from the point of view of a deeply patriotic Tory who believed the nations destiny had been fulfilled with the union of parliaments in 1707.

Like Walter Scott, Magnus Magnusson is a master story-teller. He takes the reader through Scotland's history from earliest Mesolithic settlers on the island of Rum to the establishment of the new Scottish parliament in 1999. In investigating the many questions raised by the nation's turbulent and often poignant past, he gives full weight to the 'people's history' of Scotland – the living treasure of local legends and tradition which he believes has much resonance as academic analysis.

Where did the 'Scots' come from? To what extent was Scotland shaped by the Viking raids and settlements? What happened to the Picts? What is the truth about such historical figures as Macbeth, ever cast as the prototype villian of Scottish Monarchy, and William Wallace, made known to a world-wide audience by the film 'Braveheart?' was Robert Bruce really inspired by a spider spinning its web in cave? What was th esignificance of the tragic reign of Mary Queen of Scots? Who were Covenanters? What really lay behind the Massacre of Glencoe in 1692? What were the long-term effects of the 1707 Treaty of Union with England? What was the impact of Jacobitism, the '45 uprising in support of 'Bonnie Prince Charlie' and its brutal defeat at Culloden.

In his journey through Scotland's past, Magnus Magnusson has visited many of the places which have shape its history: the overgrown hill-fort near Inverness where St. Columbia tried to convert the King of the Picts to Christianity in AD600; the cliff in Fife where Alexander III fell to his death to create a major succession crisis in 1286; Flooden Field, where James IV and the 'Flowers of the Forest' were scythed doen in 1513; the house in Edinburgh where Mary Queen of Scots' husband Lord Darnley was murdered in 1567; and the now-derelict summer-house in Edinburgh in which the 1007 Union of the Parliaments of Scotland and England was signed.

Taking account of the latest research, and incorporating the findings of many leading historians, 'Scotland: The Story of a Nation' casts the nation's history in a fascinating and often surprising new light. Its essential reading for anyone with an interest in Scotland at this pivotal moment in its history

About the Author:

Magnus Magnusson is an Icelandic national who has spent most of his life in Scotland. After studying English at Oxford, he joined the Scottish Daily Express in 1953, and The Scotsman in 1961 as Assistant Editor. Since 1967 he has been a freelance writer and broadcaster, specialising in history, archaeology and environmental affairs. He has presented many programmes on BBC TV, including Chronicle (1967–80), Mastermind (1972–97), and a 12-part series on Vikings! (1980). He has published more than 20 books.

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