A mine of information, an inexhaustible source of enlightenment and an irresistibly readable guide to all thing Scottish, the 'Collins Encyclopaedia of Scotland' contains almost a million words, four thousand separate entries and nearly five hundred illustrations.
The encyclopaedia covers every aspect of Scotland's past, her people, arts, industries, environment and continuing traditions. Here, for example, in the thirty odd entries between 'crannogs' and 'cudbear', lurk the ambivalent Scottish 'crossbill', Glasgow Boy 'Joseph Crawhall', Dr Finlay's 'A J Cronin, Crathes' and 'Crookston' Castles, 'Crieff' and 'Crawford', 'Creetown', 'Crianlarich' and 'Cromarty', not to mention 'James' ('the Admirable') 'Crichton', the battle on the Haughs of 'Cromdale' and a brief history of 'crofting'.
As a comprehensive gazetteer of Scottish topography (from 'Muckle Flugga' to the Mull of 'Galloway'), and as a dictionary of Scottish biography (from 'Aaron Scotus' to the Marquisate of 'Zetland'), the first ever encyclopaedia of Scotland distills the heritage of a nation. There are entries on individual architects, artists, botanists, Covenanters, educationalists, engineers, explorers, inventors, Jacobites, kings and queens, missionaries, poets, scientists, soldiers, sportsmen, surgeons, saints and sinners: while topics such as 'agriculture', 'fishing', 'football', 'golf', 'heraldry', the 'law', 'shipbuilding' and 'whisky' are examined in detail. 'Clans', castles, regiments and antiquities no less than political protests, religious disputes, sport and aesthetic movements are treated authoritatively and incisively by an experienced editorial partnership and over a hundred specialist contributors.
Matching accessibility with scholarship, the 'Collins Encyclopaedia of Scotland' should become a standard source for Scottish nationals, for Scots worldwide, and for anyone with an interest in Scotland.
"A landmark literary achievement"
JACK MATHIESON, 'Edinburgh Evening News'
"Extraordinary … serious research and a grand historical sweep that leaves one slightly stunned"
MAGNUS LINKLATER, 'The Times'
"For millions of Scots worldwide, this is a treasure trove"
PETER MCKAY, 'Mail on Sunday'
"The scholarship is immaculate"
LUDOVIC KENNEDY, 'Daily Telegraph'
"A welcome, valuable and fascinating book"
OLGA WOJTAS, 'Times Higher Education Supplement'
"Excellent… It will quickly establish itself as one of the few reference books which can truly be described as indispensable"
"An awesome achievement… Ask for the Keays next time you need to know anything about Scotland"
DEAN TAYLOR, 'Scotland on Sunday'