While Scotland’s history cannot be separated from its kings and queens, saints, and warriors, there is a rich story to tell about the country’s lesser-known places, people, and events. This colorful history of Scotland from award-winning writer Alistair Moffat chooses episodes, half-forgotten or misunderstood, that have been submerged by the wash of history. Bringing these stories to light and to life, this entertaining book reveals the richness and complexity of this nation on the northwest edge of Europe.
Moffat takes us from the geological formation of the land that makes up Scotland to the first evidence of human habitation and then up to modern times. In the process our discoveries include: the cave of headless children; the origins of the Scottish kings and the real heroes of Scottish independence; the invention of tartan and the romance of the Highlands; Scotland’s answer to Shakespeare; the many US presidents with Scottish heritage, and other fascinating tales brought to life by Joe McLaren’s attractive woodcut-style illustrations. Even the most knowledgeable history buff will experience a sense of newfound knowledge and appreciation for this unique country, its history, and its people.
Alistair Moffat was born in Kelso, Scotland. He is an award-winning writer, historian, and director of programs at Scottish Television. He was director of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and former rector of the University of St Andrews. He is the founder of Borders Book Festival and cochairman of The Great Tapestry of Scotland. His many books include The Highland Clans, To the Island of Tides: A Journey to Lindisfarne, and The Hidden Ways: Scotland’s Forgotten Roads, shortlisted for the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards.