A sale History outlet sale of Scotland: Look Behind the Mist and Myth of Scottish History online

A sale History outlet sale of Scotland: Look Behind the Mist and Myth of Scottish History online

A sale History outlet sale of Scotland: Look Behind the Mist and Myth of Scottish History online
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Product Description

Scotland''s history gets a rewrite by archaeologist and historian Neil Oliver. How accurate are the accounts of Mary Queen of Scots''s tragic demise or Bonnie Prince Charlie''s forlorn cause? Oliver reveals a Scotland that forged its own identity with success, despite its union with England in 1707.

From Booklist

Archaeologist Oliver has become a BBC star hosting such history programs as Two Men in a Trench. This volume accompanies his latest series, about his homeland. Scotland is wedded, for better or worse, to England, and it�s often been the latter for Scotland. Periods when Highlanders and Lowlanders stood independent of the English live on, however, in historical memory. It is to such popularly recollected names as William Wallace and Robert the Bruce that Oliver accordingly pegs his narrative, which unrolls from Celtic times to Roman times to Stuart times, which expired with Bonnie Prince Charlie�s defeat in 1745. Like characters in a dramatic play, the historical figures are pithily characterized (Mary Queen of Scots: �dynastic dynamite�) and then sent into action. While populist in style, Oliver�s presentation never caricatures its actors. He imparts impressions of them as real people with passions, convictions, and choices. Including such great Scottish cultural icons as poet Robert Burns, Oliver�s warmhearted yet illusion-free survey of Scottish history piques interest in the auld country. --Gilbert Taylor

Review

Oliver has a great passion for his subject...an entertaining, well balanced and informative read.― SOUTH WALES ARGUS

A vivid and compellnig picture of a country we may thnk we know, but one that can still surprise.― GOOD BOOK GUIDE

About the Author

Neil Oliver is a Scottish archaeologist, historian, broadcaster and writer who has become widely known as the presenter of BBC''s flagship series A History of Scotland.

Before that, his distinctive style was much in evidence as the charismatic presenter of the award-winning multi-part documentary series Coast and the author of its tie-in book.

His archaeological training at Glasgow University was put to good use in BBC2''s series Two Men in a Trench where he visited historic British battlefields and attempted to recreate the events of each battle. He co-wrote the two accompanying books. He has also presented the BBC series A History of Ancient Britain, Vikings, The Last Explorers and Sacred Wonders of Britain, as well as Coast Australia. He lives in Stirling with his wife and three children.

Find out more at www.neiloliver.com or follow him on Twitter @NEIL_OLIVER_

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4.6 out of 54.6 out of 5
932 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

J. W. Smith
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Scottish history is complicated, and it''s especially confusing for ...
Reviewed in the United States on June 13, 2018
Scottish history is complicated, and it''s especially confusing for an American unless you''re really familiar with place names and where they are, geographical and geological features (and again, where they are), and then of course there''s the ebb and flow of power politics... See more
Scottish history is complicated, and it''s especially confusing for an American unless you''re really familiar with place names and where they are, geographical and geological features (and again, where they are), and then of course there''s the ebb and flow of power politics with hundreds of names scattered throughout the centuries. I''ve read a bunch of histories of Scotland by now, and this one tops them all. Oliver''s writing style is eminently readable, and the very way he presents otherwise complex material makes it immediately accessible and comprehensible. He know his stuff, and he''s a gifted writer. If you don''t yet own any histories of Scotland, make this one your first. And if you''ve already read a few, definitely get this one too.
68 people found this helpful
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Jeff MacConnell
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A readable compendium of Scottish names, dates, places, and backstories, but perhaps too much for a single volume.
Reviewed in the United States on March 21, 2018
History of Scotland is not a subject attempted by the faint of heart, but this is as detailed and comprehensive as possible for one volume. As a compendium of Scottish names, dates, places, and backstories it''s very instructive, but this effort could be materially improved... See more
History of Scotland is not a subject attempted by the faint of heart, but this is as detailed and comprehensive as possible for one volume. As a compendium of Scottish names, dates, places, and backstories it''s very instructive, but this effort could be materially improved with regional or local maps of important places and events. Photos landmarks and ruins are good additions, but the map of the whole country is not only too small, but so crowded with place names that it is illegible and therefore useless. There were so many momentous events, mostly of important battles and shifting clan holdings, that the addition of descriptive and diagrammed maps would help comprehension of the confusing historical politics for which Scotland is infamous.
27 people found this helpful
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mikey d.
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
simply a great read
Reviewed in the United States on December 9, 2018
being retired, there''s so much more time for reading and this book has been a wonderful time trip for more than a week for me. The author''s insights into the persons of importance in Scottish history is vital information. Some of the negative reviews did not like getting... See more
being retired, there''s so much more time for reading and this book has been a wonderful time trip for more than a week for me. The author''s insights into the persons of importance in Scottish history is vital information. Some of the negative reviews did not like getting the author''s opinion about what happened, as if that ever occurs, as even college textbooks give insight and analysis along with the basic facts. Furthermore, Scottish history is so convoluted it''s like being in a maze and it''s good to have guidance. you''d almost have to have a chart of all of the inter-marrying going on, on the Continent, to relate to the large picture and I''m glad to get the global perspective which this author really delivers well. Well, I''m not through yet but could not wait to post a positive review. There''s a trip coming in a year so this is in preparation, but what a positive experience it is to read this book, although Scotland''s history has many mind-boggling moments, when the most dreadful things happen!
16 people found this helpful
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fiona
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
schizophrenic and contradictory
Reviewed in the United States on August 28, 2019
This author makes various statements that indicate that he identifies more with the conqueror than with the native Scots. In one instance he says; "Scots have had an unfortunate tendency to behave like whipped dogs, ever ready to return to the heel of their supposed... See more
This author makes various statements that indicate that he identifies more with the conqueror than with the native Scots. In one instance he says; "Scots have had an unfortunate tendency to behave like whipped dogs, ever ready to return to the heel of their supposed masters, regardless of the severity of the beatings or the blatant self-interest of the men holding the sticks. Some behave the same way to this day" . The Jacobites, who did rise up and fight against the the invading English, the author belittles and portrays as rather clownish folks, tilting at windmills or" making mischief" as he describes it. The Jacobites were outnumbered and beset by the English and the English leaning Scots, but clownish they were not.They fought against an invader who replaced their monarchy with a hand picked Protestant replacement and outlawed their language, their dress and their way of life. If they are clownish for putting their lives on the line defending these things, and their country against an invader than so are all who resist a usurper. I can''t recommend a history book whose author does not seem to understand the history of his own country, and seems confused about who the good guys really are. I wonder if there is a political agenda here? In any case the book was a step down from other narratives that I have studied on the history Scotland
9 people found this helpful
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Becky
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great, intense review, without being boring or too long!
Reviewed in the United States on December 16, 2014
Bought this for a trip to Scotland I was taking. Even though I''m a history major I only knew the bare essentials of it''s history. This book was excellent! Although it started just a tad slow, he really managed to present A LOT of years of history, kings, clans, culture, and... See more
Bought this for a trip to Scotland I was taking. Even though I''m a history major I only knew the bare essentials of it''s history. This book was excellent! Although it started just a tad slow, he really managed to present A LOT of years of history, kings, clans, culture, and wars into a pretty brief and very readable text. Believe me, I have read a TON of really dry, long history books, this one was definitely interesting enough to keep even a "non-history" person interested. Plus, it was a great aid for the trip as I knew a lot of the background to explain to my friend. Often times the brief few sentences you get as you tour through a castle or in a pamphlet just give you very basic facts- the more you know the more interesting the country is! I would definitely recommend for anyone travelling there, it gives a true sense of the history, people, and culture of the land and as I learned on my trip, their history is definitely NOT just in their past, it is very much a part of who they still are.
53 people found this helpful
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Marg
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
I''ve given this five stars for excellent research, writing and ambience
Reviewed in the United States on September 10, 2015
I had no particular interest in Scotland until I saw a TV series hosted by Oliver. He has his own classic semi-hippy style, with the long hair and shoulder bag along with some tartan touches. He is an archaeologist and knows his subject really well, but also his... See more
I had no particular interest in Scotland until I saw a TV series hosted by Oliver. He has his own classic semi-hippy style, with the long hair and shoulder bag along with some tartan touches. He is an archaeologist and knows his subject really well, but also his enthusiasm is catching. This is why I bought the book of the series and it absolutely took over every spare minute of my life until I''d finished it. I''ve given this five stars for excellent research, writing and ambience. It is a book I could read again and again, which is pretty remarkable. Anyone with a bit of British heritage would find this work fascinating.
26 people found this helpful
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Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great written history on Scotland
Reviewed in the United States on January 6, 2017
Since I''m going to Scotland this summer, I wanted to read up on the history so to enhance the touring. Wow, Scotland has a rich yet brutal history! Ups and downs with the Brits, thousands of lives lost in battles, kings and queens at odds, a struggle for independence from... See more
Since I''m going to Scotland this summer, I wanted to read up on the history so to enhance the touring. Wow, Scotland has a rich yet brutal history! Ups and downs with the Brits, thousands of lives lost in battles, kings and queens at odds, a struggle for independence from British rule for centuries. Lots of small interesting bits of info on now historic sites are sure to make the trip a great experience!
17 people found this helpful
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WS
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Thought provoking and well worth reading
Reviewed in the United States on April 18, 2016
A fairly thorough and thought-provoking book that takes a hard look at the reality of Scottish history, shining a harsh light on historical figures who are normally only viewed through the misty golden glow of nostalgia. At times the author''s attack on tradition seems... See more
A fairly thorough and thought-provoking book that takes a hard look at the reality of Scottish history, shining a harsh light on historical figures who are normally only viewed through the misty golden glow of nostalgia. At times the author''s attack on tradition seems purposefully aggressive, leaving me to wonder about his agenda, and he has nothing but praise for the man whose incompetence we now know was in large part responsible for the devastating Jacobite loss at Culloden. But this is a book worth reading. It''s spurred me to do a little more research into areas where his version differs from other histories. I''ll likely purchase a printed copy for reference.
10 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

greasey
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great as a beginners guide to the history of Scotland but lacks depth
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 27, 2019
I read this book thinking it would be just like the 10 part TV series on BBC 4, but was disappointed, as I felt at just 400 pages it could have been longer, should have had more depth too it and detail. If it had been written in 2 or 3 volumes like the History of Britain...See more
I read this book thinking it would be just like the 10 part TV series on BBC 4, but was disappointed, as I felt at just 400 pages it could have been longer, should have had more depth too it and detail. If it had been written in 2 or 3 volumes like the History of Britain books by Simon Schama then Neil Oliver''s history of Scotland would deserve 5 stars rather than 4. The book begins with the shaping and making of Scotland through geological processes millions of years ago, through to the Neolithic period, then onto the Romans whom never conquered Scotland, by building Hadrian''s Wall and the other lesser known Antonine Wall. He then jumps forward to Picts, the Caledonians and the founding of the first Kings of Scotland from the House of MacAlpin. I wish there could have been more details about the early kings of Scotland as this often gets overlooked by the House of Wessex on wards in England. The author then briefly describes the Canmore line of Scottish Kings, up to the Scottish Wars of Independence with William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, which again could have included more detail and maps showing the battles. The we go on to the founding of the House of Stewart, until the Kingdoms became united as one under James VI of Scotland or James I of England. There didn''t seem to be much detail on the Jacobite uprisings in the 18th century, apart from the Culloden campaign, where again there was no maps, then he goes through the 19th century and up to then 2009. It would have been good if an updated book was released as it was published before the Scottish people narrowly voted to remain in the union, with the referendum in 2014. Overall a good book for beginners and as an introduction to the history of Scotland, but lacking sufficient depth if academics were wanting to use it.
12 people found this helpful
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Shavi
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
An engrossing and wonderfully written history of Scotland
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 26, 2019
I was obviously interested in the history of Scotland so I was quite certain reading a history book would certainly be a pleasant experience, and I decided to get Neil Oliver''s given his very good reviews. I couldn''t have been happier with my purchase. The history of...See more
I was obviously interested in the history of Scotland so I was quite certain reading a history book would certainly be a pleasant experience, and I decided to get Neil Oliver''s given his very good reviews. I couldn''t have been happier with my purchase. The history of Scotland on its own is fascinating enough: upfront resistance to the Roman Empire, the surge of two differentiated cultures, murders amongst family, deadly traps for hitherto friends, sadist torture, monarchs in exile who because of a small slip because of their humanity they changed the course of history... But Neil delivers it at a wave length that makes this magnificent tale a story you cannot take your eyes of. I simply could not stop reading before I finished a chapter (which I warn you, are quite lengthy and full of details worth digesting slowly). The storytelling was that good. And in the fashion of George Martin''s GOT novels, he intertwines the backs and forths of the different actors of Scotland, not necessarily following the same timeline, which keeps the story thrilling and alive throughout the book. One can tell Neil''s passion for geology, as the first chapter is a beautiful introduction to the creation of Scotland, the rock that is Scotland. And after the amazing main body of the book (the Roman threat, the invasion of the Angles, the Kingdom of Alba with the house of Alpin, the Canmores, then Scotland with the Bruce, the Stewarts, and the ever-present Lords of the Isles...) there is an amazing flashforward at the end, rapidly but effectively covering contemporary history in Britain and Scotland in particular that allows us to understand the current Scottish psyche at a very deep level. All in all, even if you''re not particularly fond of history, you''ll be hooked to this book. And if you happen to have an interest in it, I''d bet my money it''s going to carry you away.
10 people found this helpful
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leldridge
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Absolutely terrible
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 2, 2021
This book is absolutely atrocious - do not buy it. It’s badly written, full of factual errors and downright weird claims, and if that isn’t enough to put you off there’s some weird misogyny going on, too. Find another book about Scotland to read.
6 people found this helpful
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Troy Parfitt
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A good starting point
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 27, 2015
I thought this was a decent overview of Scottish history. I learned a lot, and it was interesting to see Scotland and Britain from a Scottish perspective. The information about religious infighting, the tobacco trade, labour unrest, and class exploitation were particularly...See more
I thought this was a decent overview of Scottish history. I learned a lot, and it was interesting to see Scotland and Britain from a Scottish perspective. The information about religious infighting, the tobacco trade, labour unrest, and class exploitation were particularly appealing, and there are lots of sources in the back for further reading. It must have taken the writer years to research and write the book, and knowing what that’s like, I’m reluctant to criticize. However, I feel I must, because in many places the book is badly written, so badly that it became a distraction. Mr. Oliver and his editor should acquaint themselves with at least one decent style guide. They should know that generally it’s useful to omit needless words and to place important words at a sentence’s end. There are so many sentences that end with “as well” as to defy imagination. There are also clichés (e.g. the something-or-other from hell) and other examples of pub speak. And there are long, comma filled constructions begging to be simplified and recast. Besides issues with writing, there’s scant little in the way of positionality. Besides being a proud, curious, and educated Scot, what perspective is the writer coming from? Is he a historian? An archeologist? What? Is he going to be relaying a dynastic history, a people’s history, or both, and why? The reader assumes the writer focuses on kings, queens, wars, and other conflicts, because that’s the history that’s best been recorded, but the writer never explains. I also thought the later references to geography were unnecessary. Sure, geography may shape and influence history (e.g. the highlands vs. the lowlands), but it’s what people believe and how they act that’s key. These complaints must make it sound like I didn’t like the book, but I did. I just think it could have been better. If you’re not fussy about clear and dynamic language and just want the information and maybe to gain some perspective on how Scots view themselves and the wider world, this book is certainly a good introduction.
6 people found this helpful
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Jc Raynor
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A very readable, and interesting, history book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 5, 2014
I bought this because it was a `deal of the day'' and I like Neil Oliver''s TV programmes. However, I''m really glad I did buy it because I''ve really enjoyed reading it and learned a lot so doing. Being English, like most such I never really knew a lot about the history of...See more
I bought this because it was a `deal of the day'' and I like Neil Oliver''s TV programmes. However, I''m really glad I did buy it because I''ve really enjoyed reading it and learned a lot so doing. Being English, like most such I never really knew a lot about the history of Scotland, and never gave it much thought; I guess I just sort of presumed its history was much like England''s. This book has enlightened me. I now know that for most of its history Scotland has been a very different country to England. Oliver has a very easy style, the book is very readable, with lots of little insights and stories while narrating the history. I feel this is very much an introduction to the history of Scotland, as tedious detail is largely avoided to keep the narrative bowling along. It''s quite difficult to put down as you are kept interested and want to know what happened next. Like one of the other reviewers, I feel the best part of the book was that up to James VI leaving for England, after that it gets it bit heavy going. (Perhaps it''s because the history of Scotland now involves England!) However, overall, I wouldn''t hesitate to recommend it.
4 people found this helpful
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A sale History outlet sale of Scotland: Look Behind the Mist and Myth of Scottish History online

A sale History outlet sale of Scotland: Look Behind the Mist and Myth of Scottish History online

A sale History outlet sale of Scotland: Look Behind the Mist and Myth of Scottish History online

A sale History outlet sale of Scotland: Look Behind the Mist and Myth of Scottish History online

A sale History outlet sale of Scotland: Look Behind the Mist and Myth of Scottish History online

A sale History outlet sale of Scotland: Look Behind the Mist and Myth of Scottish History online

A sale History outlet sale of Scotland: Look Behind the Mist and Myth of Scottish History online

A sale History outlet sale of Scotland: Look Behind the Mist and Myth of Scottish History online

A sale History outlet sale of Scotland: Look Behind the Mist and Myth of Scottish History online

A sale History outlet sale of Scotland: Look Behind the Mist and Myth of Scottish History online

A sale History outlet sale of Scotland: Look Behind the Mist and Myth of Scottish History online

A sale History outlet sale of Scotland: Look Behind the Mist and Myth of Scottish History online

A sale History outlet sale of Scotland: Look Behind the Mist and Myth of Scottish History online

A sale History outlet sale of Scotland: Look Behind the Mist and Myth of Scottish History online

A sale History outlet sale of Scotland: Look Behind the Mist and Myth of Scottish History online

A sale History outlet sale of Scotland: Look Behind the Mist and Myth of Scottish History online

A sale History outlet sale of Scotland: Look Behind the Mist and Myth of Scottish History online

A sale History outlet sale of Scotland: Look Behind the Mist and Myth of Scottish History online

A sale History outlet sale of Scotland: Look Behind the Mist and Myth of Scottish History online

A sale History outlet sale of Scotland: Look Behind the Mist and Myth of Scottish History online

A sale History outlet sale of Scotland: Look Behind the Mist and Myth of Scottish History online

A sale History outlet sale of Scotland: Look Behind the Mist and Myth of Scottish History online

A sale History outlet sale of Scotland: Look Behind the Mist and Myth of Scottish History online

A sale History outlet sale of Scotland: Look Behind the Mist and Myth of Scottish History online

A sale History outlet sale of Scotland: Look Behind the Mist and Myth of Scottish History online

A sale History outlet sale of Scotland: Look Behind the Mist and Myth of Scottish History online

A sale History outlet sale of Scotland: Look Behind the Mist and Myth of Scottish History online

A sale History outlet sale of Scotland: Look Behind the Mist and Myth of Scottish History online

A sale History outlet sale of Scotland: Look Behind the Mist and Myth of Scottish History online

A sale History outlet sale of Scotland: Look Behind the Mist and Myth of Scottish History online