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A Short History of Scotland Paperback – March 12, 2010

3.3 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

This 1911 work, by one of the best-known newspapermen and writers of the day, is a lyrical and engrossing account of the peoples and places of the northern reaches of the Sceptered Isle, from its Celtic and Pictish tribal origins, through the Roman occupation, and to the Jacobite uprising of the 18th century.

With a sly, dry wit that will enthrall today's readers, author Andrew Lang delves into the decadence and corruption of the medieval kings and brings to thrilling life the intrigues and conspiracies that have shaped the true history of a much-fabled nation. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Merchant Books (March 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603863095
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603863094
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,121,458 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
I read this book just before traveling to Scotland (the lowlands, there isn't much in it about the highlands) and found it to be an excellent preparation. I was able to recognize the various castles, cathedrals, abbeys that we saw and knew something about where and how they fit into Scottish history. I was much better able to enjoy the trip as it wasn't quite so new and overwhelming. Lang appears not to have too much of an axe to grind, but he does have some antipathy to John Knox, whom he clearly regards as an occasionally dishonest and troublesome rebel who not only upended the established Roman Catholic church and the monarchy, but destroyed a great deal of beautiful art and architecture into the bargain.
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Anyone interested in explaining how a region came to what it is, should read this book. The fact that it is short, and contains the basics of the clans I can now state I understand the kilts, and the passions for the Scots and their underlying distrust of the English, who they do not resemble, and speak more of a dialect than most Americans speak their brand of English.
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I am doing geneology on my family tree and found that they lived in Scotland. Bought this book, for a history resource. Wanted to know what and how they lived. This book is very informative.
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Good book but after the first half, it seems to drift too much into details. I wanted to read this book to get a brief history of Scotland but this book isnt brief at all.
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It has proven to be very interesting. I've currently been reading a lot of Scottish Highland romance books and that has prompted an interest in just what Scotland was like centuries ago. This book has answered a number of questions I had and it has been very interesting reading. I would recommend it to anyone who may have questions but is not in to reading a long, sometimes boring, history book.
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I found this book long on lists of names and places but short on analysis and story. I'm looking for a book that provides an overview with detailed coverage of the most significant events.
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Andrew Lang (1844-1912) was a prolific writer and poet who wrote an extensive four-volume history of Scotland in 1900-1907. In 1911 he wrote this "short" history. In distilling his work, he created a fast-paced but hard to follow history.

I found the first 25% to be confounding - a litany of murders, treacheries and religious squabbles that are extremely hard to follow. The rest of the book smoothed out as more detail was supplied. Still, however, it was to me too much of an outline than a history.

I did learn quite a bit, regardless. I may have learned more had I a more thorough knowledge of Scottish history and geography. Lang refers to people, events and geography of which he assumes the reader is familiar. I don't regret the time spent reading this not-too-short "short" history, since it has aroused my curiosity and gave me some avenues for further study.

An unexpected revelation came from Lang's discourse on the religious conflicts of the period. Today we find ourselves perplexed by the fanaticism of Islamic extremists, who cannot hold a candle to those Scottish radicals. We would probably not be here today if the likes of Knox had had nuclear weapons!

This book is worth reading, but only for one who does not mind tedious dredging for interesting tidbits. For others, this would be mightily boring. Had I not been in a reflective mood when I started "A Short History of Scotland" I could easily have given it only one star.
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I wanted to learn a little about Scotland before our vacation. I am not a history fan and am still enjoying this book. I plan on having my kids read it before the trip, also.
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