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Tales of a Scottish Grandfather Paperback – October 20, 2000


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Product Details

  • Series: Tales of a Scottish Grandfather (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Cumberland House Publishing; English Language edition (October 20, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581821298
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581821291
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,632,443 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By T. Patrick Killough on September 3, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This this the third of four volumes written by Sir Walter Scott as a history of Scotland for children, very intelligent children be it said! It covers the years 1658 (death of Oliver Cromwell) to 1714 (death year of the last de facto Stuart Monarch, Queen Anne).

What sense is the obscure volume title, "FROM GLENCOE TO STIRLING" meant to evoke? No problem with GLENCOE: at that starkly beautiful MacDonalds' site in the western highlands, 38 men, women and children were massacred by Scottish troops in the dead of winter 1792. 150 more men, along with women and children succeeded in fleeing through the snow to shelter 12 miles away. The treacherous order to slaughter every man, woman and child below 70 years old was approved by King William III. Scotland to this day has not forgiven that otherwise enlightened monarch. Why Stirling appears in the title I am not sure.

Volume three of TALES OF A SCOTTISH GRANDFATHER is close to indispensable companion reading for six Walter Scott novels set in the years 1658 - 1714: WOODSTOCK, THE TALE OF OLD MORTALITY, PEVERIL OF THE PEAK, THE PIRATE, THE BRIDE OF LAMMERMOOR and THE BLACK DWARF. Some of these romances are more political than others, but the dynastic struggles form the backdrop for all.

The most biting part of Scott's narrative describes the formation of the United Kingdom in 1707. At a time when two actions of King William III (the massacre at Glencoe and his opposition to Scottish colonization of the Isthmus of Panama) had inflamed Scotland against England, English commercial interests were forced to decide between resumption of unending centuries of war with Scotland or assuring permanent peace by absorbing their smaller northern neighbor, more or less willingly. Which alternative would cost England less money?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jacob on August 22, 2011
Format: Paperback
EDIT and RETRACTION:

My initial review was unduly harsh on the Covenanters. After researching a bit, Scott essentially slandered the Covenanters. As a whole, the Covenanters were not culpable in the death of Arcbishop Sharpe, which death in any case was a mercy to humanity. The role of the Cameronians in Scott's narrative is overstated.

Original Review below:

At the risk of sounding like a hippie modern, I "found" myself through reading this book. In high school I feasted upon the romances of Sir Walter Scott. I read through Rob Roy three or four times, longing to be a Scottish outlaw heroically resisting the banking apparatus which has destroyed lives and nations. Indeed, I longed to see myself hiding in the glens (or bayous) about to carry out some raid.

While this history does not have the same romantic flavor as Rob Roy and Ivanhoe, one still gets the "Scottish" charm. Scott occasionally (but blessedly) violates the line between prose and poetry when describing the beauty of the Scottish highlands.

As history goes, this is actually one of the better ones. Scott is not neutral, but more importantly, he is not neutral in the places which you do not expect. He avoids facile conclusions like, "Scotland good; England bad." More so than others, he is aware of the painful nuances of post-Cromwellian British history. The battle is not between England and Scotland, but between Cromwell and Presbyterian, Cromwell and Jacobite, Presbyterian and Jacobite, and obviously, Presbyterian vs Presbyterian (!!!!). And then there are the Anglicans. Scott narrates through the nuances far better and more effortlessly than any theologian.

I am not the "covenanter-wannabe" I was when I first acquired these books.
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