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Suggested Reading
I'm often asked what would be useful to read to get an overview of Scotland and Scottish history so here are my suggestions.


I am aware a lot of people that are interested in learning about Scotland do not have a huge amount of time at their disposal to read even a fraction of what is available.  For this reason I'm often asked for suggestions as to how they might make a start and so below I'm listing some books that will get you started.

Picturesque Scotland
Its romantic scenes and historical associations in lay and legend, song and story by Francis Watt M.A. and the Rev. Andrew Carter M.A.
Note: This book has generated more emails than any other book on the site. All were most positive about it and I think we all enjoyed it as each of the 114 chapters were posted up on the site. All of the chapters are quite small so makes this an easy read to get you started and does cover all of Scotland.
Scotland - A Concise History
This is an excellent concise history of Scotland coming from one of Scotland's most respected historians, James Halliday. 'A masterly summary of our national story by an impeccable authority', The Scots Magazine.
Note: This book was intended to be a basis for teaching Scottish history in schools and is thus written in a way to impart all the important highlights in as easy a fashion as possible.
General History of the Scottish Highlands
We have added dates to the various sections to give you a kind of time line so if you are looking for a time period it should help you to identify it. You should also note that this is a history of the Scottish Highlands and not the whole of Scotland so some famous Scottish events might not be covered or at best only with passing reference.
Note: This was actually the first publication I read when starting my own exploration of Scottish history and have to say I enjoyed reading it right from the first page. This publication spawned the Scottish regiments and Scottish clans section of the site.
Scottish Regiments
This page is displayed in two columns and the first 8 regiments listed in both columns came from the above publication, General History of the Scottish Highlands, and are quite detailed.
Note: As Scots fought all over the world, in Europe, Russia, Asia, Middle East and North and South America by reading these accounts you'll be amazed at what they achieved. They also serve to show the fighting spirit of the Highlanders.
Scottish Clans and Families
Here you may just wish to read about a clan or family that you have some connection with. We have two main index pages that will provide a list of names we have information on - Clans and Information on other Scottish names.
Note: For general reading to give you an idea on Scottish clans you may wish to read a few of the major clan histories such as the ones on MacDonald, Campbell, MacKenzie, and Fraser.

And so having read this lot you should be well on your way to learning about Scottish history and the people. From this point on you should follow what is of particular interest to you on any aspect of history. You may wish to make use of our Site Search Engine to locate any specific texts.

There are eight specific sections of the site where you can locate lots of information...

Books
Over the years we have ocr'd hundreds of books onto the site about places in Scotland, Biographies and lots of other topics. This page will allow you to browse through all these books to find ones that interest you.

Articles
Here you will find over 300 articles which we've culled from various historical magazines.  This is likely a section you just want to dip into when you have some time. They cover a whole range of topics all with a Scottish theme but also covering countries where the Scots emigrated to as well as topics like Charms and Amulets, clearing the land in Canada, wee snippets on various clans and families and lots more.

Robert Burns
With all the Burns Suppers around the world our famous Bard is a well known poet and so here we provide a very substantial section about him.  Given that most of his writing was in the Scots Language most do have problems understanding him. This being the case we'd also recommend reading the book Understanding Robert Burns which provides English translations of some of his more famous works.

Scots Diaspora
This has become a major section of our site where we've explored where Scots emigrated to and information about them and what they did for their adopted countries and how they faired. Scots first travelled all over Europe but also went further afield and then as the new world was discovered many moved to North America and Australasia. We do have complete books on Scots in places like Germany, Poland, Prussia, France, Sweden, Russia, Canada, USA, etc. This also includes good information on the Scots-Irish and even Scots in England.

Pictures
We also have a lot of pictures from parts of Scotland which I took myself.  They are mostly arranged as a kind of story board which means I've also added a wee bit of commentary to them.

Scottish Councils
Here I've added details on the various Scottish Council areas of Scotland so that you can locate where each is along with road maps and gazetteer entries for the major towns.

Scottish Gazetteer
This section of the site details some of the history of each place in Scotland.

John's Scottish Sing-Along
This page was put together by John Henderson an ex School Teacher in Scotland who has now retired to Cyprus.  He has listed some 127 famous Scottish songs and when you click on any of them a page comes up with the words but each page also has a link which when clicked on will sing the song to you. This way you not only get the words but also the tune to which they are sung. Note also when you click on the song link that will come up in a new window meaning you can listen to the song while you read the words.

At the end of the day as the site developed so did our interest in various aspects of Scottish history and when a subject took our interest we made an effort to find good information for the site.  In this way we have developed good sections on things like Religion, Education, Agriculture, Folk-Lore, Sport. but also many others  such as use of plants for medicine and dying, social life of Scots, food and drink, poetry and stories, music, law, medicine, etc.  and while you can browse all our pages you might wish to avail yourself of our Site Search Engine to find a specific topic.

I hope this page will have helped in your desire to know more about Scotland and the Scots.


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