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The Invention of Scotland by [Trevor-Roper, Hugh]
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The Invention of Scotland Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Review

'Posthumously fulfilling the author's wishes, this iconoclastic work, intended to counter devolution moves by the Callaghan government, will delight all who are allergic to sentimental nationalism. . .A splendidly engaging bit of mischief./i>--Christopher Hirst"The Independent" (08/09/2014)

Review

'Written with Hugh Trevor-Roper's characteristic grace and pungency... an enlightening and entertaining work.'

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1016 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (16 July 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0089W2I1U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #359,109 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The history of humankind teaches us that people will often prefer to believe anything but the truth even when that truth is staring them in the face. Despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary there are still those who insist that Scotland invented the bagpipes, the kilt and tartans. In this well researched work Hugh Trevor-Roper presents carefully researched evidence proving that they did not invent any of them. These three items that often define Scotland to the outside world are all imports from other cultures. The true greatness of Scotland lies elsewhere, mainly with the so called Lowland Scots such as Robert Burns, the Lighthouse Stevensons, James Watt John Logie Baird, the inventor of the Television and many more. The canny Scots exploit bagpipes, kilts and tartans for all their worth to catch the gullible tourist trade, not least the important part of it that comes from North America.

Trousers and trews are relatively recent types of garment. Some scholars trace the origin of trousers to a female garment worn in ancient China. More often than not in the ancient world men wore loose, skirt-like garments under which they wore a loin cloth. Roman soldiers wore skirts which looked exactly like kilts, under which they wore a kind of knee breeches. Numerous engravings and paintings of ancient Egyptians show that the men in those days wore kilts or skirts. The great kilt was a garment worn by Scottish Highlanders from a long while back and it consisted of a long length of woollen cloth belted round the waist with the loose end thrown over the shoulder and it was inconvenient and cumbersome for anyone engaged in such tasks as tree felling and furnace feeding.
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Format: Hardcover
As a patriotic Scot I think we need books like this,because it sets the record straight and challenges some long held romanticised myths about our history.This book deals with the Picts, the Strathclyde Britons and the Germanic settlers in the south east and their relationship with the Scots and how they became the dominant force in the land. Their are large tracts of the book where the author deals with the early literature of Scotland, and it can get rather boring. The book really picks up when the author discusses kilts & tartans, he points out that Highland dress is relatively modern and that the philieg kilt was invented by Thomas Rawlinson,an English Quaker.Before that the highlander wore a belted plaid and his chieftain would have wore trews. When the British army started up Highland regiments they adopted the philibeg with a specific tartan for each regiment, they recruited men from specific clans and so each clan became associated with a tartan. Early portraits of the Grants & McDonald clans have them in a variety of different tartans.This is a good book and worth reading if you are interested in Scotland.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A wonderfully acerbic corrective. Lays bare the truth behind the Tartan and shortbread Highland myth.
Who would have thought that the kilt was effectively invented by two Englishmen in the mid 19th Century.
Brillant
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought this book for my husband, him being a Scot. He's read it and tells me he found it very enjoyable. It does tell the truth, so he says.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Both apposite (given a certain referendum coming up) and entertaining - see other reviews, which, rather than the appositeness, are the reason I bought this. I do appreciate Nic Allen's two-star strictures, but I find poking at wasps' nests rather good sport. I do think, though, that if CUP had published this rather than merely printing it they'd have caught that 'averse from' in the editor's foreward, which almost put me off my scone; wake up, Yale!

* ..though Bill C's one-star review proposes three English myths, and I have to say a bearskin outdoes a kilt in sheer ludicrousness. Let them fight it out!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A pretty decent read to those interested in such things and reading the reviews you will see commendations by Scotch people themselves whom are honest enough to admit much of it is true. Scotland is a nation of myth but must be given credit for the way it has maintained the myths to this day, it must employ one brilliant publicist. Just look at Braveheart the movie as an example. This is considered to be factual by many Scots but much of it is poetic licence and simply made up. The kilt, Haggis and bagpipes are all things considered Scotch but in reality are not but then again tea isn't English so there is nothing wrong with a nation integrating something foreign into its national identity. The Scotch are allowed to be Scotch whilst we English have to be British, denied our own parliament by Westminster and our own national anthem and everything that goes with it , we must hope the Scotch vote yes in the hope that it will start the ball rolling on the formation of an independent England. No doubt as always some will point out that it's not Scotch, its Scot's but may I point out that the term Scotch is an English word for someone from Scotland just as sasanach ( Saxon ) is a term fro someone from England.
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Format: Hardcover
As the male youth of the modern world clamours for the kilt, be it tartan, black, or even pink and glitter as seen occasionally in civil partnership ceremonies, it is useful to muse on the findings of Hugh Trevor Roper in this erudite book with copious references attributed.
There is no shortage of websites devoted to the manufacture and selling of Highland dress - or "Highland Attire" as one solemnly attests it must be accurately labelled, perpetuating the myth, as that claim is clearly fatuous and plainly wrong, as indeed, are myths. Otherwise they would not be myths. As Burns had it in his poem, A Dream ... "Facts are chiels that winna ding."
Many of these websites are based in the US, from where supposed scholars of the tartan will avail a clansman of the correct (and various) setts from which a valued customer might choose in order to look his best at a wedding. And at a whopping price. Where a tux might be purchased for around £250, a prospective buyer of the full "Highland Attire" might have to re-mortgage his house.
So that's near the nub of it: where the Sobieski Stuarts and their charlatan ilk sought to improve their status by their propagation of the tartan myth, so did the manufacturers of such costumery profit, neither stopping to consider that the truth of the matter might be relevant to the notion of what it would mean for the young men of the future to be Scottish.
To confront some of these same young men now with these myths would, in some instances, be leaving oneself open to a sucker punch and 'a sore face' such as one might expect in Glasgow at least.
Yet The Invention of Scotland is a book which must be read by all Scots - and indeed our cousins in the rest of the UK - merely to set the record straight. It will surely instil in an intelligent person the quality that - warts and all, to summon up a terror of the Scots - we are what we are. And let's work on that.
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