Kingship and Unity: Scotland 1000-1306
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.