The main features may be stated as follows:
It is a full and detailed History of Scotland from the Earliest Times to
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
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
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
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.
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