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The Highlands and Islands of Scotland

A New History

by Alistair Moffat


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ISBN: 9781780278575
Published: 06 Jun 2024
Format: Hardback
Extent: 512
Publisher: Birlinn Ltd
Imprint: Birlinn
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About the Book

Alistair Moffat tells the extraordinary story of the Highlands in the most detailed book ever written about this remarkable part of Scotland.

The chronicle begins millions of years ago, with the dramatic geological events that formed the awe-inspiring yet beloved landscapes, followed by the arrival of hunter gatherers and the monumental achievements of prehistoric peoples in places like Skara Brae in Orkney. The story continues with the mysterious Picts; the arrival of the Romans as they expanded the boundaries of their huge empire; the coming of Christianity and the Gaelic language from Ireland; the Viking invasion and the establishment of the great Lordship of the Isles that lasted for three hundred years.

The Highlands are perhaps best known as the key battleground in Bonnie Prince Charlie’s doomed attempt to restore the Stuart monarchy and its dreadful aftermath, which saw the suppression of the clans and the whole of Highland culture. This situation was exacerbated by the terrible Clearances of the nineteenth century which saw tens of thousands evicted from their native lands and forced to emigrate. But, after centuries of decline, the Highlands are being renewed, the land is coming alive once more, and the story ends on an upbeat note as the Highlands look forward to a future full of possibilities.

While this is an epic history of a fascinating subject, Moffat also features the stories of individuals, the telling moments and the crucial details which enrich the human story and add context and colour to the saga of Scotland.

The Author

Alistair Moffat

Alistair Moffat was born and bred in the Scottish Borders. A former Director of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Director of Programmes at Scottish Television and founder of the Borders Book Festival, he is also the author of a number of highly acclaimed books. From 2011 he was Rector of the University of St Andrews. He has written more than thirty books on Scottish history.