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The Invention of Scotland Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
Who would have thought that the kilt was effectively invented by two Englishmen in the mid 19th Century.
* ..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!
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is one to buy all depressed Scots nationalists you know to push them really over the edge!
But there are no lies here - Scottish culture, or what we think it is -... Read more
The posthumous publication of this volume probably wasn't a great idea. There really isn't much originality of thought on display. Read morePublished on 10 Jun. 2013 by Nic Allen
What a shame that, after a career that has brought recognition and respect worldwide, Trevor-Roper decides to excercise his little Englander chauvinism by, that old anglo... Read morePublished on 18 Jan. 2010 by Bill C
I read other reviews which said that this book was well-written and researched but I found it tedious in the extreme. Read morePublished on 21 Oct. 2008 by Amazon Customer
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