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The Highland Clearances Paperback – March 1, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-1841585420 ISBN-10: 1841585424 Edition: 3rd
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Editorial Reviews


'Eric Richards is a fluent, lucid writer' - The Herald 'required reading ... not to be missed for its fearless And comprehensive grasp of the past and its relevance for today' - Ileach

About the Author

Eric Richards is Professor of History at Flinders University, Australia and previously taught at Stirling University, Scotland. His published work includes an acclaimed biography of Patrick Sellar, which was awarded the prize for Scottish History Book of the Year (1999) by the Saltire Society.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 486 pages
  • Publisher: Birlinn Ltd; 3rd edition (March 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841585424
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841585420
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 6.6 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #904,233 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Kindle Edition
Context is vitally important in fairly assessing any historical event or trend. Eric Richards book on the Highland Clearances serves ss a good example of this in that he places the clearances against the backdrop of similar rural population displacement throughout Western Europe as the drive towards modernity in agricultural and commerical practices swept across the 18th and 19th centuries. That said, he also draws out and explains those elements that made and still make the Clearances a flashpoint for emotion--everything from evictions accompanied by the burning of cottages as tenants were ejected to wholesale emigration as the result of such inhumane practices. This is not a polemic against landowners though, as the book explores those who were loath to eject tenants and replace them with sheep even when not doing so was detrimental to a landowners financial security. Dr. Richards deals fairly with all sides of the economic and social issues surrounding the Highland Clearances so that the reader is left with a clear, although at times rather dry, sense of all that was involved in the Highland Clearances. The book concludes with a question and answer chapter on the Clearances that helps brings it all together. I wish the book had included more detail on the events of the 1880s, the so-called Crofters War, that took place in reaction to the Clearances that reached their peak in mid-century. This is especially the case since he has included a picture and caption of John Macpherson, one of the "Glendale Martyrs" but yet overlooks mentioning him in the text. Having visited the Isle of Skye recently and seen the monument to Macpherson and others at Glendale, it would have been good to learn more about him and the entire Glendale story. .

All in all though, it is is hard to imagine another author doing a better job on the complex demographic, economic and social issues surrounding the Highland Clearances. Excellent work.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well written, easy to read. More objective than some books I have read on this unhappy subject. Worth reading, you don't need to have a "heavy" background in Scotch history to understand the book. If you are interested in the Clearances for whatever reason, you will find this book useful.
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