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The British Dimension

Rosalind Mitchison

16 October 1980
The Life of David Hume 
by Ernest Campbell Mossner.
Oxford, 736 pp., £20, March 1980, 0 19 824381 2
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‘The People Above’: Politics and Adminsitration in Mid-18th-Century Scotland 
by Alexander Murdoch.
John Donald, 199 pp., £12, March 1980, 0 85976 053 7
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The Laird of Abbotsford 
by A.N. Wilson.
Oxford, 197 pp., £8.95, June 1980, 0 19 211756 4
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The Strange Death of Scottish History 
by Marinell Ash.
Ramsay Head Press, 166 pp., £6.50, March 1980, 0 902859 57 9
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... by their own exertions, and of reduced personality. His heroines, less necessary as observers, could have stronger personalities. Scott’s double vision was to be lost by a later generation, as MarinellAsh’s book indicates, and has not yet been fully regained – a fact displayed by the acrimonious nature of much recent writing on the Union with England. Dr Ash’s study of 19th-century Scottish ...

The money’s still out there

Neal Ascherson: The Scottish Empire

6 October 2011
To the Ends of the Earth: Scotland’s Global Diaspora, 1750-2010 
by T.M. Devine.
Allen Lane, 397 pp., £25, August 2011, 978 0 7139 9744 6
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The Inner Life of Empires: An 18th-Century History 
by Emma Rothschild.
Princeton, 483 pp., £24.95, June 2011, 978 0 691 14895 3
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... undrained bog of questions. Some ambitious channels were dug by Victorians, with generally Unionist teleologies. But in the first part of the 20th century those channels seemed to silt up again until MarinellAsh published her poignant appeal The Strange Death of Scottish History in 1980. By then, however, Scotland’s cultural and political revival was already underway. Synoptic histories, serious but ...

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