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A History of The Scottish People
By The Rev. Thomas Thomson with Introduction by Charles Annandale, M.A., LL.D. (1895)


The main features may be stated as follows:

It is a full and detailed History of Scotland from the Earliest Times to the Latest.

It is a History of the Scottish People, their manners, customs, and modes of living at the various successive periods.

It is a History of Religion and Ecclesiastical Affairs in Scotland.

It is a History of Scotland’s progress in Commerce, Industry, Arts, Science, and Literature.

It is illustrated hy a series of original designs reproduced in facsimile from drawings by eminent artists.

Scotland's History more interesting than a Romance.

The history of Scotland from first to last—from the period of rudeness and semi-barbarity at the coming of the Romans to the culture and enlightenment of the present day—forms a more varied and stirring tale than any to be found in the pages of romance. No work of fiction, indeed, can rival in abiding interest the story of the rise and consolidation of the monarchy, the wars with England, the deeds of Wallace and Bruce, the tragic fortunes of Mary, the struggles of the Covenanters, the romantic episode of the ’45— to adduce only a few of the striking topics falling to be treated in this work in its course downward from the dawn of history.

A History of the Scottish People.

It is a complete history of the people and of the country, and, while presenting a picture of Scotland in the very earliest period, brings the narrative down to the present time, and thus gives an account of numerous events for which other histories of Scotland will be consulted in vain.

New Light on Early Scotland.

Special attention is given in this history to early Scotland, and to the various interesting questions regarding its inhabitants—those warlike natives, who so manfully withstood the Roman invaders. The history of these ancestors of ours, back to the remotest times—so far as it can be traced—is the subject of the introductory chapter. Treating of the country as it was long before its written history began, this chapter throws light upon a period that up till very recent times was enveloped in profound darkness. Such a chapter, indeed, could only have been written at the present day, since it exhibits the recent results obtained by geologists, archaeologists, and other scientific inquirers.

A History of the Daily Life of the People, as well as of Wars, Battles, and Affairs of State.

Wars and battles, and the doings of kings and nobles, of parliaments, and governments, have their due importance given to them in this work. Bnt the daily life of the people, as it varied from period to period, is so intensely interesting that one chief aim of the present Work is to describe this life, to tell how and what our forefathers ate and drank, what was the character of their dress, ornaments, and abodes, how they married, what were their amusements, and the manner of their behaviour generally.

A History of Religion and of Great Ecclesiastical Struggles.

In this section the aim has been, while giving a full and detailed narrative, to be fair and just to all parties. The great topics dealt with are the introduction and spread of Christianity, the Culdees and the early Scottish church, the full establishment of the Roman Catholic system and its final overthrow, the triumph of Presbyterianism over Episcopacy after the sufferings of the persecuted Covenanters, and the later developments giving rise to the churches of the present day.

A History of Scottish Literature, and of Progress in Arts, Science, and Industry.

Scotland has been conspicuous in Literature as well as in the discoveries and improvements made in every Art and Science, and the number of illustrious men she has produced is out of all proportion to the scantiness of her population. Such names as Burns, Scott, Hogg, Campbell, Carlyle, Chalmers, Livingstone, Watt, Brewster, Wilkie—to mention only a very few—would be an honour to any country. Notices of such men and of their achievements and personal history form part of this Work, while the improvements in agriculture, the introduction of manufactures, the development of trades, the extension of commerce are also fully described.

Written by Competent Authors.

The larger portion of The History of the Scottish People was written by the Rev. Thomas Thomson, whose name is well known in connection with various important publications, more especially The Comprehensive History of England, and the Biographical Dictionary of Eminent Scotsmen. Mr. Thomson’s decease having prevented his labours on this history being brought to their full conclusion, the work has been continued and the narrative brought down to the present time by Dr. Charles Annandale, editor of the world-renowned Imperial Dictionary of the English Language, of The Popular Encyclopedia, and other works; the instructive and far-reaching Introductory Chapter being also from his pen.

Pictorial Illustrations by eminent Artists.

The Work will be illustrated by a series of forty original designs by the eminent artists W. H. Margetson, Alfred Pearse, Walter Paget, Gordon Browne, &c., which will greatly enhance its attractiveness and usefulness. For in these drawings the characteristics of the men, the costumes of the periods in which the incidents represented took place, and the various needful accessories, have been carefully depicted. There will also be three maps, printed in colours, showing how the country was divided at various epochs.

Volume 1 | Volume 2 | Volume 3 | Volume 4 | Volume 5 | Volume 6


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