Book Event: A Talk with Historian David Taylor


A discussion with David Taylor on his latest book ‘The People are Not There’ which explores many known histories of the Highlands through a Badenoch angle and focuses on 1800-1863 . His first book ‘The Wild Black Region’ explores the history of Badenoch from 1750-1800.
David himself is a historian and was the Principle Teacher of History and Modern Studies and Kinguissie High School for thirty years before he retired and got his PhD from UHI.
About The People Are Not There: The Transformation of Badenoch 1800–1863

Badenoch today is a landscape of empty glens and ruined settlements, but it was not always so. This book examines the transformative events that shaped the region’s destiny: climate and market forces, hunger and relief measures, sheep farms and sporting estates, agricultural improvement and proprietorial greed, and the evolution of clanship. Although this is an intensely localised study, the dramatic nature of change is explored against the wider context of events not just across the Highlands, but also within the British state and its global empire.

Badenoch’s journey moves from the relative prosperity of the Napoleonic Wars into the terrible post-war destitution that devastated peasant, tacksman and Duke of Gordon alike. Estate reform and ‘improvement’ gradually brought a degree of economic and social stability, but inevitably resulted in depopulation as people were forced off the land to seek refuge in the impoverished ‘planned villages’ or to abandon their Gaelic homeland for life in the Lowlands. For those with the means, however, emigration provided lucrative opportunities unimaginable at home.

Through extensive use of documentary evidence, much of it previously unseen, David Taylor paints an intimate portrait of the historically neglected region of Badenoch – one that provides a compelling new perspective on Highland history.

Thursday, 1 September 2022 at 7pm
Grantown Museum & Heritage Trust
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Thursday 01 Sep 2022
Grantown Museum & Heritage Trust, United Kingdom