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The Killing Time Hardcover – 18 Oct 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Luath Press; First Edition edition (18 Oct. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906817049
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906817046
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 3.8 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 767,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Short chapters focusing on the lives of a group of well-chosen dramatis personae give pace and energy to the narrative. Most importantly, Ross untangles the religious and political complexities for the general reader. In doing so, his major achievement is to retain an impressive breadth of detail while holding the reader's interest with consistently pithy prose and thought-provoking insights. The Killing Time is a welcome addition to accessible scholarship on this much overlooked period of Scottish history.' --The Scotsman

About the Author

David S. Ross is a graduate of St Andrews University and has written and edited a number of books on Scottish history and culture, including Scotland: History of a Nation, now in its ninth edition, and Scottish Quotations. He has a particular interest in the development of cultural life and the history of ideas, and is currently working on a history-cum-anthology of Scottish humour.


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Format: Hardcover
I bought this after a long time scouring around for an introduction to the Covenanters, an importnant chapter of Scottish history which seems to be neglected and about which I was not very knowledgable at the time. There are relatively few modern-day books on the subject so I was eager to read this one when it was recommended to me.

Rather than an academic style, 'The Killing Time' takes an authobiographical approach, focusing on the lives of the main players of the epoch - Claverhouse, Lauderdale etc. The book is well researched and informative and the prose very well written but the difficulty I found was that the author appears to have taken a narrative history approach - focusing on personalities - but is rather academic in execution. Narrative histories will tend to 'dramatise' major events, telling them as an author would and making the subject matter more accessible, and entertaining, to the layman. Academic histories, of course, will focus on the details, the social influences of the times and getting the facts right. The author appears to have taken the latter path although the former may have been more suited to the biographical structure of the book.

The net result, for me at least, was that I had difficulty in forming a sharp image of the historical figures, 'characters', in my mind and as I read I often found myself confusing them. 'Was he the one who?', 'Did he....?' etc.

As I stem from a secular, Edinburgh upbringing, I never had any of the stories of the era passed down to me as some others may have. I never learned about the Covenanters in school either so I came to this book with no real prior knowledge.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book that gives a good insight into mid-late 17th century Scotland. Details the origins of the Covenanting movement, the experience of Presbterian dissidents in the 'Kiling time' of the 1680's and ends with the 1707 act of Union. Really intesersting book, would recommend it to other history students.
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