'Typically sharp, sane and wise ... Massie explains -- and this is the best part -- how the two nations collaborated in creating each other ... Marvellous' -- Financial Times 20050820 '[Massie has] a depth of knowledge and an affectionate insight that few other writers of his generation could match ... He brings a healthy scepticism to some of the more self-serving of Scottish myths ... Striking' -- Magnus Linklater, New Statesman 20050905 'Well researched and highly readable ... Particularly illuminating ... A colourful examination of two countries inextricably bound together' -- Good Book Guide 20050901 'Wise and stimulating ... One of his book's many merits is its treatment of the nuances and complexities ... Allan Massie belongs to the ancient and distinguished tradition of the Scottish man of letters ... He is always readable, always reasonable, and often quirkily refreshing ... his is as authentic a voice of modern Scotland as the rasping rancour of Salmond or the sonorous platitudes of Sean Connery' -- The Spectator 20050820 'Typically erudite and perceptive' -- The List [Edinburgh Festival magazine] 20050818 'An entertaining account' -- Catholic Herald 20051014 'Interesting and entertaining ... Massie writes well, and this is a book well worth reading' -- Alex Salmond, Scotland On Sunday 20050731 'Compellingly provocative ... you see the virtue of Massie's book: you need to read it ... It is one of the most gloriously, deliberately troublemaking documents of the year' -- The Scotsman 20050806 'In everything Massie writes there is sympathy for the individual ... As ever, he writes with the seductive clarity and commonsense charm which make him such an employable and enjoyable columnist' -- Sunday Herald 20050724 Jeremy Paxman's 'summer reading' choice: 'I shall spend part of my holiday in Scotland reading Allan Massie's new The Thistle and the Rose, to try to understand why the relationship between our two countries is so hilariously testy.' -- Observer 20050710 'Massie the historian is as engrossing as the essayist ... Contentious, yes, but vivid ... Fascinating, but never frivolous, this is both erudite and entertaining. While many books are readable, here's one that will remain re-readable' -- Scots magazine 20051001 'A stimulating investigation' -- Scottish Field 20051001 'A thought-provoking collection' -- David McLetchie, MSP, Herald 20051203 'A great book all so-called Scots should tuck into' -- Colin Waters,Sunday Herald/ Seven Days 20051203 'Allan Massie, practically without peer as a novelist and commentator, has been the most articulate and interesting of unionists by a mile ... Impressive ... Few commentators have Massie's sense of history, and none is so assured when debunking myths ... Excellent ... The book feels timely ... the importance of this book is that it sets out what needs to be considered' -- Irvine Welsh, Mail on Sunday 20050918 '[Massie writes] with the gentle elegance of a novelist who has pondered deeply on human nature in general as well as Scottish conundrums in particular ... Massie, as we'd expect, writes very acutely ... I'd be happy to see our Scottish Executive present The Thistle and the Rose to every fourth-former in the country' -- Angus Calder, Scottish Review of Books 20050703 'An idiosyncratic overview of cross-border relations ... Massie is every inch the ideal writer. Self-deprecating, prolific, well-known as a columnist and political observer ... he writes somewhat mischievously ... a highly personal response ... it's hard to imagine anyone more at home musing on the two-way traffic across Britain's northern borderlands' -- Glasgow Herald 20050716 'This excellent book is good-tempered and reasonable throughout ... highly original ... I enjoyed Massie's book, and learned from it ... [He] gives us a great deal to chew over' -- Literary Review 20050801 'One of Scotland's finest and most consistent writers ... [An] intriguing, elegant piece of work ... As ever, Massie's prose slips down effortlessly while he maintains a constant stream of provocative, ingenious ideas' -- Observer 20050807 'Infuriatingly reasonable. He wittily debunks the myths of Scottishness ... It is difficult to find fault with such a sensible and erudite writer' -- Sunday Telegraph 20050807 'Thoughtful' -- Dominic Sandbrook, Daily Telgraph 20051203 'For the reasons, whitever ye ar, ye'll no can pit this buik doun!' -- Lallans, Ware 20060101 '[An] impressively informed and admirably un-black-and-white account of the two nations over the last 500 years' -- The Observer 20060820 'Allan Massie beguiles us through six centuries of love and hate between the English and the Scots' -- Nicholas Bagnall, Sunday Telegraph 20060820 'Massie's common sense, sadly, just isn't that common! his insights and perspective make this essential reading for anyone concerned with the nature and direction of the union. A second reason to read it is Massie's poised and near perfect prose. You may not agree with what he says, but you have to admire how beautifully he says it' -- Ross Leckie, The Times 20060819
About the Author
Allan Massie is a celebrated novelist and biographer. He is also a leading columnist for the Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, Sunday Times and The Scotsman.