The Highland Clearances: People, Landlords, and Rural Turmoil
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
- Publisher : Birlinn Ltd (October 1, 2000)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 379 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1841580406
- ISBN-13 : 978-1841580401
- Item Weight : 1.13 pounds
- Dimensions : 5.75 x 1.5 x 8.75 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,470,535 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The truth of the matter is that these clearances of the centuries-old tenantry of the large, Highland estates, owned by Scottish and English landlords, alike, took place over more than a century as the land was put to use as sheep farms and deer parks/forests for hunting. Most landlords were in debt and needed to make the land pay more lucratively than it would maintaining the traditional tenant farm communities. Some landlords attempted to provide alternative living arrangements and employment for their tenants, and, in some cases, offered to pay for their passage to the colonies; many of them forgave the tenants' rent arrears and purchased their stock. But, many did not and brutally forced the tenants off the land with no compensation whatsoever; the numbers of the disenfranchised and dispossessed were in thousands, but few deaths directly resulted.
It was all about 'improving' the estates and making money which the old way was not doing; if anything, it was costing the landlords more than they could afford. And, when the landlords went bankrupt, their estates came under the control of Trustee boards that had no sympathy for the tenants. It's the age-old story of the economy rolling over anything in its path with no quarter given. In most cases, the tenants left without resistance; in some they did resist and fought for their right to remain, a right they believed theirs due to generations of their families having worked the land.
Dr Richards remains objective and exhaustive in his presentation of the information. Each chapter contains end notes, and the bibliography is extensive as one would expect from an academic work. He is fair-handed and admits that much more research is needed to find more documented evidence into the various clearances and to follow up on the tenants, themselves, as to where they went and how they adapted to their incredible loss.
My sympathies still lie with the people who were divested of their traditional living and cruelly displaced because of the changing economy. They were victims of the Industrial Revolution and the law, which set the landlords' right to do with their land as they saw fit, that steamrolled their way of life and cast them to the four winds without recompense. They were not systematically murdered, but they were forcibly 'disappeared' from the land in the same measure.
This is an even-handed history.
what actually happened and why.
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.
Top reviews from other countries
Although there were some horrible experiences suffered by the population it was not all quite as it appears .A well researched and informative book that is easy to read .