Kingship and Unity: Scotland 1000-1306

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Edinburgh University Press, 2015 - History - 224 pages

A stunning overview of the medieval landscape of Scotland

This is a history of the forging of the Scottish kingdom during the first three centuries of the second millennium. In AD 1000 the Scottish kings had embarked on the annexation of English-speaking Lothian and of Cumbric-speaking Clydesdale, Ayrshire and Dumfriesshire. The country's enlargement continued under a line of remarkably able kings with the inclusion first of the highlands and then, after the defeat of the Norwegians in 1263, of the islands of the Inner and Outer Hebrides. How Scotland's landscape influenced its people and conditioned its outlook on the world is a theme running throughout the book.

Geoffrey Barrow describes the evolution of Scottish kingship and government during the period, in the process examining the character of Scottish feudalism and the manner of its imposition. He discusses the social, economic and political changes of the period, with separate chapters on the expansion of towns and trade, the role of the church, and advances in education and learning. A sense of national identity had, he argues, become sufficiently strong by the end of the thirteenth century for the country to survive humiliation by Edward I and to reunite under Robert Bruce. With Bruce's coronation as Robert I in 1306 this richly detailed and readable account of Scotland's formative period comes to an end.

Since first publication in 1981, this reissued edition for The Edinburgh Classic Editions series, as indicated in the preface by the series editor Jenny Wormald, can now rightly take its place amongst the classics of Scottish history.

Key features:

  • Long seen as a key text for students of medieval Scotland
  • Written by a respected and renowned historian
  • Readable, cinematic in scope, colourful and scholarly at the same time

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About the author (2015)

G. W. S. Barrow was Sir William Fraser Professor of Scottish History and Palaeography, University of Edinburgh, 1979-92. His books include Feudal Britain (London, 1956); Robert Bruce and the Community of the Realm of Scotland (4th edition, Edinburgh, 2005); The Anglo-Norman Era in Scottish History (Oxford, 1980 - his Ford lectures); Scotland and its Neighbours in the Middle Ages (London, 1992); and The Kingdom of the Scots (2nd edition, Edinburgh, 2003).

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