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A History of Scotland (Penguin History) 2 Reprint Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Allowing the comments of one of the other reviewers, this book might not answer EVERY question that one might have regarding all of the specifics of Scots history. As in any book that sets out to tell the whole history of a people in under five hundred pages, there are omissions and a little of opaquenesses. Setting this aside, both the original author and the updaters of this book have done a remarkable job putting together a history that is equally entertaining and enlightening. This book DOES do an adequate job illustrating all of the changes of power and intricacies that are necessary to understand the interrelation between England and Scotland and the Highland and Lowland populations. It is fair which is important. And it is just a fun read.....
Beyond this, obviously, this book raises additional questions regarding the history of Scotland that must be answered by additional reading. But, then again, this is a book that as an intitiation, makes one want to read more.
I highly recommend this book....
I'll put this another way. It's like reading a book about farming that was written by someone describing how the farm looks from an airplane at 30,000 feet. You get nicely outlined plots that rotate with the seasons, but none of the real struggles, turmoils or story of what the life of those plots entails.
If you want to read this book as a way to find out the History of Scotland, skip along to something else. If you want to use it as a reference to discover who you should explore next time you want to read about Scotland and her people, buy it. You'll basically have a genealogy of the country.
Both are roughly the same size in terms of page count, but 'A History of Scotland' in a sense covers less but more deeply: it stops in the 1970s ('Scotland: A History' stops 30 years later) and contains only history (unlike the two thematic chapters — one, on the Scottish diaspora, rather thin in terms of content and the other, on Scottish literature, too specialised for a generalist volume of this kind — in 'Scotland: A History). 'A History of Scotland' also, to my mind, contains much better coverage of the earliest periods of Scottish history including the period before the Roman conquest of Britain (i.e. the period that includes the Pictish civilisation) and the medieval period. Also very fine is the section on the religious turmoil of the 16th and 17th centuries. Both books start to lose focus to some extent in the 19th and 20th centuries, as though not quite enough time has elapsed even yet to see the events of those periods in their proper contexts. Mackie's volume is also largely arranged around the central figures of monarchs, and this approach leaves him in a bind when Scottish monarchs become less Scottish than British or, dare I say, English monarchs.Read more ›
There are many confusing references. I had trouble understanding what and who Argyle is, why you spell Stewart/Stuart two ways with seemingly interchangable spellings, and many many royalty/title related terms that are confusing (duke/earl/baron etc. what's the difference?). A glossary would help. Otherwise, keep a dictionary and a good map handy.
Also the successions and following who murdered whom needs more diagrams and what diagrams and maps there are should all be redrawn for clarity.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the best histories I have yet read. And helped tie together part of my family.Published 10 months ago by Wayne McKirdy
Awful. Unless you are already an expert on Scotland, do not waste your money on this poorly written, ponderous book.Published 16 months ago by Nick Vance
More than 1,000 years of history. The Scots have had one of the most interesting and intriguing stories of all nations. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Mr. Bubles
Well it is a history book so kind of a dry read but informative.Published 19 months ago by angela goforth
Very thorough yet conversational recounting of a complex nation's history. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone doing research on the topic.Published 22 months ago by ashley ross
Try and cram 1,000 years of history into less than 400 pages before you complain about this book. The earlier chapters deal rapidly with large swathes of history, then gradually... Read morePublished on July 22, 2013 by othoniaboys
This book was very clean and in great shape! It was every thing I was looking for in a book.Published on April 1, 2013 by Bruce Feeney