Debating the Highland Clearances

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Edinburgh University Press, 2007 - History - 241 pages
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Storm clouds always gather over the story of the Highland Clearances. The eviction of the Highlanders from the glens and straths of the Highlands and Islands of the north of Scotland still causes great historical dispute more than a century after the events. The Highland Clearances also generated a great deal of contemporary controversy and documentation. The record comes in diverse forms and with radically different provenances, offering excellent material for exercises in historical analysis and selection.

Debating the Highland Clearances introduces the Highland Clearances as a classic historical problem. Eric Richards reviews the historical debate and examines the methods and sources employed by the combatants past and present. The debates among historians, novelists, politicians and economists are no less passionate today and raise major questions about interpretation and the appropriate frame of reference for the noisy and continuing public debate about the Highland Clearances.

This book presents a representative anthology of documents illustrating the historical foundations on which the debate is built. The debate is set in context and the author explains why it is not only important for Scottish patriots but for history in general.

Key Features

  • Organised into two parts; the first considers debates surrounding the Clearances, the second examines a selection of the sources which inform these debates
  • Presents and analyses an anthology of source material compiled to introduce the debates surrounding the Highland Clearances to audiences learning about historical analysis
  • Asks why passionate debate about the Clearances has been sustained and provides a modern introduction to its main issues

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Contents

Debating the Clearances
3
Before the Clearances
26
The Age of the Clearances
45
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Eric Richards was Professor of History at Flinders University and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. His books include The Highland Clearances: People, Landlords and Rural Turmoil (Edinburgh University Press 2000); Patrick Sellar and the Highland Clearances, (Edinburgh University Press, 1999) (Scottish History Book of the Year); The Last Scottish Food Riots (Oxford University Press, 1982); and The Leviathan of Wealth. The Sutherland fortune in the Industrial Revolution (University of Toronto Press, 1973).

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