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Kings Of Alba: C.1000-c.1130 [Paperback]

Alasdair Ross
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

1 May 2011
The events of 1000 1130 were crucial to the successful emergence of the medieval kingdom of the Scots. Yet this is one of the least researched periods of Scottish history. We probably now know more about the Picts than the post-1000 events that underpinned the spectacular expansion of the small kingdom which came to dominate north Britain by the 1130s. This expansion included the defeat and absorption of other significant cultural and political groups to the north and south of the core kingdom, and was accompanied by the introduction of reformed monasticism. But perhaps the most momentous process amongst all these political and cultural changes was the move towards the domination of the kingship by just one segment of the royal kindred, the sons of King Máel Coluim mac Donnchada s second marriage to Queen Margaret. The story of how these sons managed to achieve political supremacy through machination, murder and mutilation runs like an unsavoury thread throughout this book. The book also investigates the building blocks from which the kingdom was constructed and the various processes which eventually allowed the kings of the different peoples of north Britain to describe themselves as Rex scottorum. It is a hugely rewarding voyage of discovery for anyone interested in the formation of the kingdom of the Scots.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: John Donald Short Run Press (1 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906566151
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906566159
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15.6 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 957,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'A valuable addition to the field' --BBC History Magazine

About the Author

Alasdair Ross graduated from the University of Aberdeen with an MA in History and Celtic in 1999 and a PhD in 2003.He is currently a lecturer in history at the University of Stirling. He was co-editor of The Exercise of Power in Medieval Scotland, c.1200 1500 (2003) and is Editor of the magazine History Scotland.

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Monograph or General History? 19 Nov 2011
Clearly based on a thorough command of both the primary sources and the historiographial tradition, there remains a faultline in this book. Simply put, it does not know whether it is a monograph or a general history. In both respects it has its faults and is the poorer for attempting to satisfy these two currents. In the first place, one wonders why the pubisher believed that the intricacies of land assessment and division which occupies Dr Ross's attention should compel the reader enough to reach the final chapters which present one narrative view of the development of Alba (Scotland) in the Eleventh century? It is heavy going for the general reader, and the somewhat lugubrious approach in the prose which sequentially dribbles through every previous view or comment on any given subject is cumbersome and dry. One has to say, that this was a missed opportunity. There are other works which discuss Scotland in this period but from a broader perspective. The advantage of this work would have been the tighter chronological focus on the proceseses that melded the communities that lived in what we now know as Scotland into one communitas regni. Neither the land division material, the excursus on the geographical extent of Moray (Mureb) or (the rather poor) discussion of Ystrad Glyd (Strathclyde) conjure enough incisive and empirical analysis to make this work satisfy its aims.
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