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The Scot Abroad
by John Hill Burton; published 1864


THE growth of these two volumes is similar to that of their predecessor, ‘The Book-Hunter,’ which was received with unexpected favour.

The Author had at various times, through periodical literature and otherwise, offered some suggestions on the existence and character of certain unexplored recesses in historical literature. He found himself backed by friendly advisers in the opinion that it would be worth while to go over the ground more systematically, bring his suggestions to clearer conclusions, and see how far they could be assorted in systematic groups. The project was rendered all the more attractive by the new light thrown into corners previously obscure by the noble collection of documents issued under the direction of the Master of the Rolls in this country, and the investigations of accomplished archaeologists abroad. The Author found that the result could neither be readied in so brief a time nor packed in so small a compass as he expected, since new vistas, ever opening up, lured him farther on. The book thus greatly changed its nature after the title had been announced. But although the whole first volume, given up to an account of ‘The Ancient League with France,’ is passed before ‘The Scot Abroad’ strictly commences, yet the title is not so illogical as it may seem, since the whole book refers to the relations of Scotland and Scotsmen with foreign countries.

To go abroad merely for the purpose of dealing with one’s countrymen dispersed in foreign lands, may appear as egregious an instance of nationality as any of those which the Author has hunted up for the amusement of his reader. He pleads as his excuse that, having devoted the time at his disposal to the reconstruction, from the beginning, of the History of Scotland in its present received shape, he has been tempted to leave from time to time the beaten road, and follow up the nearest openings into districts where he could wander at large, free from the responsibilities for exhaustive completeness which attend on history-making. He will be glad if the good-natured reader takes his offering in the same spirit, and treats it as a holiday ramble through some secluded scenes in history and literature.

Volume I
This volume is mostly to do with the Scots connections with France and the influence both countries and their people had on each other.

Volume II
This volume is of a more general nature covering Scots connections with other parts of the world but does also include further mention of French connections.


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