Something Scottish

Ye may not yet be able to griddle a girdle scone or toss a caper, but ye can certainly ken more about the history of the Scots land and people if ye wish.

Listening For the Heartbeat of God: A Celtic Spirituality

By J. Philip Newell

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"This overview of Celtic spirituality goes far beyond New Age considerations and even beyond the usual look at Irish saints. Instead Newell, former Warden of Scotland's Iona Community, explains Celtic spirituality itself -- its theology, its history, how it was overshadowed by the Roman sense of church, and how it has resurfaced as a deep, rich, vibrant way of life."

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Seasons on Harris: A Year in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides

By David Yeadon

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"The Outer Hebrides of Scotland epitomize the evocative beauty and remoteness of island life. The most dramatic of all the Hebrides is Harris, a tiny island formed from the oldest rocks on earth, a breathtaking landscape of soaring mountains, wild lunarlike moors, and vast Caribbean-hued beaches. This is where local crofters weave the legendary Harris Tweed-a hardy cloth reflecting the strength, durability, and integrity of the life there.

"In Seasons on Harris, David Yeadon, 'one of our best travel writers' (The Bloomsbury Review), captures, through elegant words and line drawings, life on Harris--the people, their folkways and humor, and their centuries-old Norse and Celtic traditions of crofting and fishing. Here Gaelic is still spoken in its purest form, music and poetry ceilidh evenings flourish in the local pubs, and Sabbath Sundays are observed with Calvinistic strictness. Yeadon's book makes us care deeply about these proud islanders, their folklore, their history, their challenges, and the imperiled future of their traditional island life and beloved tweed."

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Tracing Your Scottish Family History

By Anthony Adolph

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"Tracing Your Scottish Family History guides the reader step by step, from 'ask your family first' to finding, accessing and understanding obscure local records. Anthony Adolph shares insider tips on how best to search archives, libraries, publications, registers, censuses, tax rolls, debt records, churches, testaments and deeds, and he supplies all relevant contact information. Fortunately the Internet, digitized archives and DNA sampling have made it easier than ever to reconstruct a family tree.

"This book's abundant archival photographs and illustrations and Adolph's engaging text describe Scottish society in detail, from the early seanachaidh (druids) and chieftains to Viking genetics. Adolph explains how critical historical events affected how and where Scottish people lived, and he gives comprehensive detail on such important topics as naming patterns, clans and tartans, heraldry, parishes, landholders and tacksmen, the Burghs, sasines, farmers and crofters, and Highland and Lowland families."

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Winter Solstice

By Rosamunde Pilcher

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"Elfrida Phipps, once of London's stage, moved to the English village of Dibton in hopes of making a new life for herself. Gradually she settled into the comfortable familiarity of village life -- shopkeepers knowing her tastes, neighbors calling her by name -- still she finds herself lonely. Oscar Blundell gave up his life as a musician in order to marry Gloria. They have a beautiful daughter, Francesca, and it is only because of their little girl that Oscar views his sacrificed career as worthwhile. Carrie returns from Australia at the end of an ill-fated affair with a married man to find her mother and aunt sharing a home and squabbling endlessly. With Christmas approaching, Carrie agrees to look after her aunt's awkward and quiet teenage daughter, Lucy, so that her mother might enjoy a romantic fling in America. Sam Howard is trying to pull his life back together after his wife has left him for another. He is without home and without roots, all he has is his job. Business takes him to northern Scotland, where he falls in love with the lush, craggy landscape and set his sights on a house. It is the strange rippling effects of a tragedy that will bring these five characters together in a large, neglected estate house near the Scottish fishing town of Creagan. It is in this house, on the shortest day of the year, that the lives of five people will come together and be forever changed."
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Outlander

By Diane Gabaldon

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Claire Randall is leading a double life. She has a husband in one century, and a lover in another... In 1945, Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she innocently touches a boulder in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach, an "outlander"--in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of our Lord...1743. Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire's destiny in soon inextricably intertwined with Clan MacKenzie and the forbidden Castle Leoch. She is catapulted without warning into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life ...and shatter her heart. For here, James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a passion so fierce and a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire...and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

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Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart

By John Guy

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"Guy draws on sources as varied as the secret communiqués of English spies and Mary"s own letters (many hitherto unstudied) to depict her world and her actions with stunning immediacy. Here is a myth-shattering reappraisal of her multifaceted character and prodigious political skill. Guy dispels the persistent popular image of Mary as a romantic leading lady, achieving her ends through feminine wiles, driven by love to murder, undone by passion and poor judgment.

"Through his pioneering research, we come to see her as an emotionally intricate woman and an adroit diplomat, maneuvering ingeniously among a dizzying array of powerful factions — the French, the English, duplicitous Scottish nobles, and religious zealots — who sought to control or dethrone her. Guy"s investigation of Mary"s storied demise throws sharp new light on questions that have baffled historians for centuries, including whether or not Mary was framed for the murder she lost her throne over."

(From the publisher's description)

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Scotland, the Autobiography: 2,000 Years of Scottish History by Those Who Saw It Happen

By Rosemary Goring

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"Contributors range from Tacitus, Mary, Queen of Scots, and Oliver Cromwell to Adam Smith, David Livingstone, and Billy Connolly. These include not only historic moments--from Bannockburn to the opening of the new parliament in 1999--but also testimonies like that of the eight-year- old factory worker who was dangled by his ear out of a third-floor window for making a mistake; the survivors of the 1746 Battle of Culloden, who wished perhaps that they had died on the field; the breakthrough moment for John Logie Baird, inventor of television; and, the genesis of great works of literature recorded by Conan Doyle, Stevenson, and the editor of Encyclopaedia Britannica.

"From the battlefield to the sports field, this is living, accessible history told by crofters, criminals, servants, housewives, poets, journalists, nurses, politicians, prisoners, comedians, sportsmen, and many more."

(From the publisher's description)

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The Complete Book of the Tartan: A Heritage Encyclopedia of Over 400 Tartans and the Stories that Shaped Scottish History

By Iain Zaczek and Charles Phillips

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"The history of Scotland is a long and rich one, and the story of tartan is inextricably woven into it, but tartan is also very much part of the modern world, both as a continuing tradition and as a declaration of affiliation, by Scots all around the globe. In this book is an unprecedented collection of tartans, ancient and modern, traditional and obscure, mainstream and idiosyncratic, from the major clans who have dominated Scotland's destiny, to today's individuals and societies who use tartan to declare an allegiance."

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William Wallace: Brave Heart

By James A. Mackay

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Sir William Wallace of Ellerslie is one of history's greatest heroes, but also one of its greatest enigmas—a shadowy figure whose edges have been blurred by myth and legend. James MacKay uses all his skills as a historical detective to produce this definitive biography, telling the incredible story of a man who, without wealth or noble birth, rose to become Guardian of Scotland. William Wallace, with superb generalship and tactical genius, led a country with no previous warlike tradition to triumph gloriously over the much larger, better-armed, and better-trained English forces. 700 years later, the heroism and betrayal, the valiant deeds and the dark atrocities, and the struggle of a small nation against a brutal and powerful empire, still create a compelling tale.

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The Flight of Bonnie Prince Charlie

By Hugh Douglas

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The flight of Bonnie Prince Charlie was one of history's greatest manhunts. It created Scotland's most treasured legend during 1746, when Charles Edward, heir to the Stuart throne, was ruthlessly hunted down after the Battle of Culloden.

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