Shortlisted for the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards In The Hidden Ways, Alistair Moffat traverses the lost paths of Scotland. Down Roman roads tramped by armies, warpaths and pilgrim routes, drove roads and rail roads, turnpikes and sea roads, he traces the arteries through which our nation's lifeblood has flowed in a bid to understand how our history has left its mark upon our landscape. Moffat's travels along the hidden ways reveal not only the searing beauty and magic of the Scottish landscape, but open up a different sort of history, a new way of understanding our past by walking in the footsteps of our ancestors. In retracing the forgotten paths, he charts a powerful, surprising and moving history of Scotland through the unremembered lives who have moved through it.
Shortlisted for the Edward Stanford Travel Writing AwardsIn The Hidden Ways, Alistair Moffat traverses the lost paths of Scotland - its Roman roads tramped by armies, its byways and pilgrim routes, drove roads and railways, turnpikes and sea roads - in a bid to understand how our history has left its mark upon our landscape. As he retraces the forgotten paths that shaped and were shaped by the lives of the now forgotten people who trod them, Moffat charts a powerful, surprising and moving history of Scotland.
In The Hidden Ways, Alistair Moffat traverses the lost paths of Scotland. Down Roman roads tramped by armies, warpaths and pilgrim routes, drove roads and rail roads, turnpikes and sea roads, he traces the arteries through which our nation's lifeblood has flowed in a bid to understand how our history has left its mark upon our landscape.Moffat's travels along the hidden ways reveal not only the searing beauty and magic of the Scottish landscape, but open up a different sort of history, a new way of understanding our past by walking in the footsteps of our ancestors. In retracing the forgotten paths, he charts a powerful, surprising and moving history of Scotland through the unremembered lives who have moved through it.
Author: Mary J MacLeod
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
Release Date: 2013-04-04
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
Tired of the pace and noise of life near London and longing for a better place to raise their young children, Mary J. MacLeod and her husband encountered their dream while vacationing on a remote island in the Scottish Hebrides. Enthralled by its windswept beauty, they soon were the proud owners of a near-derelict croft house—a farmer’s stone cottage—on “a small acre” of land. Mary assumed duties as the island’s district nurse. Call the Nurse is her account of the enchanted years she and her family spent there, coming to know its folk as both patients and friends. In anecdotes that are by turns funny, sad, moving, and tragic, she recalls them all, the crofters and their laird, the boatmen and tradesmen, young lovers and forbidding churchmen. Against the old-fashioned island culture and the grandeur of mountain and sea unfold indelible stories: a young woman carried through snow for airlift to the hospital; a rescue by boat; the marriage of a gentle giant and the island beauty; a ghostly encounter; the shocking discovery of a woman in chains; the flames of a heather fire at night; an unexploded bomb from World War II; and the joyful, tipsy celebration of a ceilidh. Gaelic fortitude meets a nurse’s compassion in these wonderful true stories from rural Scotland.
Author: Graham Robb
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: 2018-06-12
Best-selling author Graham Robb finds that the 2,000-year-old map of Ptolemy unlocks a central mystery of British history. Two years ago, Graham Robb moved to a lonely house on the very edge of England, near the banks of a river that once marked the southern boundary of the legendary Debatable Land. The oldest detectable territorial division in Great Britain, the Debatable Land served as a buffer between Scotland and England. It was once the bloodiest region in the country, fought over by Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, and James V. After most of its population was slaughtered or deported, it became the last part of Great Britain to be brought under the control of the state. Today, it has vanished from the map and its boundaries are matters of myth and generational memories. Under the spell of a powerful curiosity, Robb began a journey—on foot, by bicycle, and into the past—that would uncover lost towns and roads, and unlock more than one discovery of major historical significance. These personal and scholarly adventures reveal a tale that spans Roman, Medieval, and present-day Britain. Rich in detail and epic in scope, The Debatable Land takes us from a time when neither England nor Scotland existed to the present day, when contemporary nationalism and political turmoil threaten to unsettle the cross-border community once more. With his customary charm, wit, and literary grace, Graham Robb proves the Debatable Land to be a crucial, missing piece in the puzzle of British history.
This story of early Scotland begins 10,000 years ago at the end of the Ice Age when the familiar Scottish geography of mountains, glens, and rugged coasts evolved. It follows the movement of hunter-gatherers north, the growth of fishing, the establishment of farming. The author also covers cultural evolution in Scotland - the roles played by megalith builders, Celts, Picts, and others.
Author: Duncan Minshull
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2014-09-04
‘A book to start your heart and feet beating for the road’ The Times With its stories of strolling, poems about pavement-pounding and wonderings on wandering, this is the indispensable collection for the flâneur and the rambler – and everyone in between. Take a turn with Jane Austen, stride side by side with Colm Tóibín, let restless William Wordsworth lead you through brook and road before a detour with Stella Gibbons to the park.Whether mountaineering with Mark Twain or visiting Oxford Street with Julian Barnes – be sure to take this anthology with you on your ambulations. With a new foreword by Robert Macfarlane. Previously published with the title The Vintage Book of Walking
Author: A. R. B. Haldane
Publisher: Birlinn Limited
Release Date: 2008
One of the great classics of Scottish history, The Drove Roads of Scotland interweaves folklore, social comment and economic history in a fascinating account of Scotland's droving trade and the routes by which cattle and sheep were brought from every corner of the land to markets in central Scotland. In pastoral Scotland, the breeding and movement of livestock were fundamental to the lives of the people. The story of the drove roads takes the reader on an engrossing tour of Scottish history, from the lawless cattle driving by reivers in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to the legitimate movement of stock which developed after the Union of the Crowns, by which time the large-scale movement of stock to established markets had become an important part of Scotland's economy, and a vital aspect of commercial life in the Empire. Haldane's work is one of the great classics of Scottish history.
Did you know that trains used to travel by sail across the Angus countryside, that Scotland produced a Queen of Morocco, saw the death of Queen Guinevere and elected a Queen of the island of Handa?In this marvellously entertaining and informative book, Ann Lindsay introduces a huge range of quirky, intriguing and amusing details about ...
Author: Arthur Herman
Publisher: Broadway Books
Release Date: 2007-12-18
An exciting account of the origins of the modern world Who formed the first literate society? Who invented our modern ideas of democracy and free market capitalism? The Scots. As historian and author Arthur Herman reveals, in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries Scotland made crucial contributions to science, philosophy, literature, education, medicine, commerce, and politics—contributions that have formed and nurtured the modern West ever since. Herman has charted a fascinating journey across the centuries of Scottish history. Here is the untold story of how John Knox and the Church of Scotland laid the foundation for our modern idea of democracy; how the Scottish Enlightenment helped to inspire both the American Revolution and the U.S. Constitution; and how thousands of Scottish immigrants left their homes to create the American frontier, the Australian outback, and the British Empire in India and Hong Kong. How the Scots Invented the Modern World reveals how Scottish genius for creating the basic ideas and institutions of modern life stamped the lives of a series of remarkable historical figures, from James Watt and Adam Smith to Andrew Carnegie and Arthur Conan Doyle, and how Scottish heroes continue to inspire our contemporary culture, from William “Braveheart” Wallace to James Bond. And no one who takes this incredible historical trek will ever view the Scots—or the modern West—in the same way again.
From the acclaimed author of The Wild Places, an exploration of walking and thinking In this exquisitely written book, Robert Macfarlane sets off from his Cambridge, England, home to follow the ancient tracks, holloways, drove roads, and sea paths that crisscross both the British landscape and its waters and territories beyond. The result is an immersive, enthralling exploration of the ghosts and voices that haunt old paths, of the stories our tracks keep and tell, and of pilgrimage and ritual. Told in Macfarlane’s distinctive voice, The Old Ways folds together natural history, cartography, geology, archaeology and literature. His walks take him from the chalk downs of England to the bird islands of the Scottish northwest, from Palestine to the sacred landscapes of Spain and the Himalayas. Along the way he crosses paths with walkers of many kinds—wanderers, pilgrims, guides, and artists. Above all this is a book about walking as a journey inward and the subtle ways we are shaped by the landscapes through which we move. Macfarlane discovers that paths offer not just a means of traversing space, but of feeling, knowing, and thinking.
Here, guided by Jim Wilson's researches into Scottish genetic history, he (Alistair Moffat) tackles on the of the biggest stories possible: linking up the story of the earliest Scots to the earliest men... He is wonderfully able to communicate the epic elements of the story - which matters because that's precisely what man's survival has been' - David Robinson, The Scotsman 'I've been enjoyably immersed in it since it arrived on my doorstep last week...wonderfully readable. This is no dry, academic account, but it's the most fascinating and thought-provoking treatment of interlocking aspects of our early history I've yet to read. I recommend it whole-heartedly' - Colin Will, poet and publisher 'Alistair Moffat explores the history of where we all came from, with the help of new DNA science' - BBC Radio Scotland 'In The Scots: A Genetic Journey, historian and broadcaster Alistair Moffat taps into the latest advances in DNA science to find that our origins lie not only deep in the mists of time, but right off the map... with the help of historical geneticist Jim Wilson, he finds that, post-Ice Age, Scotland's earliest settlers walked here from what is now Spain' - Jim Gilchrist, Scotsman 'In The Scots: A Genetic Journey, Alistair Moffat and James F. Wilson explore the history that is printed in our genes, and in a remarkable new approach come to some fascinating conclusions about who we are and where we came from' - The Orcadian 'The fusion of science and the physical history - like an abandoned croft - allows people to trace their Scots ancestry with precision' - Sunday Herald 'The Scots: A Genetic Journey, a book and radio series based on Moffat and Wilson's research, concludes that all Scots are immigrants by descent. Britain as a whole is a mongrel nation' - Julian Baggini 'Skillfully written, weaving together genetics, archaeology, history, and topics of interest like red hair ' - James Honeychuck on Amazon History has always mattered to Scots, and rarely more so than now at the outset of a new century, with a new census appearing in 2011 and after more than ten years of a new parliament. An almost limitless archive of our history lies hidden inside our bodies and we carry the ancient story of Scotland around with us. The mushrooming of genetic studies, of DNA analysis, is rewriting our history in spectacular fashion. In The Scots: A Genetic Journey, Alistair Moffat explores the history that is printed on our genes, and in a remarkable new approach, uncovers the detail of where we are from, who we are and in so doing colour vividly a DNA map of Scotland.
The brainchild of bestselling author Alexander McCall Smith, historian Alistair Moffat and artist Andrew Crummy, the Great Tapestry of Scotland is an outstanding celebration of thousands of years of Scottish history and achievement, from the end of the last Ice Age to Dolly the Sheep. Like the Bayeux tapestry, the Great Tapestry of Scotland has been created on embroidered cloth, and is annotated in English, Gaelic, Scots and Latin. This book, with a foreword by Alexander McCall Smith, tells the story of this unique undertaking - one of the biggest community arts projects ever to take place in Scotland - and reproduces in full colour a selection of the panels from the completed tapestry, together with descriptive and explanatory material. It is published to coincide with the completion of the tapestry in August 2013. See www.scotlandstapestry.com for further details.
‘Alistair Moffat’s Bannockburn is a pacy account of the days leading up to the battle’ - Saturday Herald ‘A carefully considered account of a well-trodden historical event, Moffat enlightens and educates with an up-to-date interpretation of a battle firmly cemented in Scottish history’ - Scottish Field ‘Mr Moffat’s account of the duel between Bruce and de Bohun is totally gripping and he is particularly enthralling about the councils of war onthe eve of the second day’s battle’ - Country Life From the Ice Age to the recent Scottish Referendum, historian and author Alistair Moffat explores the history of the Scottish nation. As well as focusing on key moments in the nation’s history such as the Battle of Bannockburn and the Jacobite Risings, Moffat also features other episodes in history that are perhaps less well documented. From prehistoric timber halls to inventions and literature, Moffat’s tale explores the drama of battle, change, loss and invention interspersed with the lives of ordinary Scottish folk, the men and women who defined a nation.