Eighteenth century Scotland is famous for its generation of many of the enlightened ideas which helped to shape the modern world. But there was in the same period another side to the history of the nation. Many of Scotland’s people were subjected to coercive and sometimes violent change: traditional and customary relationships were overturned and replaced by the ‘rational’ exploitation of land use.
The Scottish Clearances is a superb account of this sometimes terrible process, which changed the Lowland countryside forever, as it also did, more infamously, the old society of the Highlands.
This pioneering book is the first to chart this tumultuous saga in one volume with due attention to evictions both north and south of the Highland line. With many fascinating details and the sense of an epic human story, The Scottish Clearances is a striking memorial to all whose lives were irreparably changed in the interests of economic efficiency.
The result created Scotland as we know it today but that came at a price. This is a story of forced clearance, of the destruction of entire communities and of large-scale emigration. Some winners were able to adapt and exploit the new opportunities, but there were as many who lost everything.
Professor Sir Tom Devine is Head of the School of History,Classics and Archaeology, Director of the Scottish Centre for Diaspora Studies and the Sir William Fraser Chair of Scottish History and Palaeography at the University of Edinburgh, generally regarded as the world's premier Chair of Scottish History.
Tom Devine was educated at Strathclyde University where he graduated with first class honours in History in 1968 followed by a Ph.D and D.Litt. He rose through the academic ranks from assistant lecturer to Reader, Professor, Head of Department, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Scie...
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