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The Caledoniad

The Making of Scottish History

by Catriona M.M. MacDonald


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ISBN: 9781788857413
Published: 17 Oct 2024
Format: E-Book
Extent: 368
Publisher: Birlinn Ltd
Imprint: John Donald
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About the Book

Why did Scots in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries know so little about their past and even less about those who controlled their history? Is the historical narrative the only legitimate medium through which the past can be made known? Are novelists and historians as far apart as convention has it? In an age when history grounds any claims to national status, these are important questions and they have implications for how Scottish history has evolved, and how Scottish identity has been understood up to the present day.

Scottish history is not simply the distillation of Scotland’s past: authors shape what we know and how we judge our forebears. This book investigates who decided which Scottish voices of the past would be heard in history’s pages and which would ultimately be silenced. It sketches a picture of a narrow and privileged cultural elite that responded belatedly to a more democratic age and only slowly embraced women writers and the interests of ‘average’ Scots. Integrating historical fiction and popular histories in its appreciation of the Scottish historical imaginary, it most importantly tells the story of why, despite the interests of politicians and others, a truly British history has never emerged.

The Author

Catriona M.M. MacDonald

Catriona M.M. Macdonald was born in Glasgow, educated at the universities of St Andrews and Strathclyde, and is currently Reader in Late Modern History at the University of Glasgow. She is a former editor of the Scottish Historical Review, past president of the Scottish History Society and former Trustee, National Museums Scotland. Her book Whaur Extremes Meet was Saltire Scottish History Book of the Year, 2010.

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