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The Borders: A History of the Borders from Earliest Times
This is the story of the border: a place of beginnings and endings, of differences and similarities. It is the story of England and Scotland, told not from the remoteness of London or Edinburgh or in the tired terms of national histories, but up close and personal, toe to toe and eyeball to eyeball across the tweed, the Cheviots, the Esk and the tidal races of the upper So ...more
Paperback, 586 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by Birlinn Ltd
(first published April 1st 2002)
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(showing 1-30 of 58)
This was a long slog for me. Some of the chapters were over 60 pages long. But mostly, it was because it was clearly aimed at a different market--the fact that Moffat uses "we" is a giveaway. I wouldn't read it unless you have a good background already in Scottish and English history, particularly of the Borders.
This is a dense read. I would recommend it only to those who are interested in a history of The Borders, the historically tumultuous landscape between England and Scotland. This seemingly small, insignificant locale, that has exerted a disproportional effect on the history of English-speaking people. Perhaps the best section is the factual inserts he places in the text, commenting on historical details. I was a bit disappointed that he did not mention to any great extent the Ulster Plantation an ...more
The first few chapters were hard for me to get into (too many imaginary scenarios). The rest of the book was ok. The section on the reivers was most the most interesting to me but it went by pretty quickly. I also liked the chapter and Sir Walter Scott and his influence on border culture and the discussion of the development of the iron plow. I had hoped for more info on the migration of border Scots to Ulster but the book covered such a broad range of history that I guess it isn't too surprisin ...more
A sweeping history of the Anglo-Scottish Borders, ranging from the prehistoric era to modern times. As a Borderer himself Alistair Moffat writes with great enthusiasm for his subject, and he has a keen eye for a telling detail or quotation. There are many other books about the Borders, but this is surely now the best starting point for readers who would like to explore this region’s fascinating past.
Alistair Moffat was born in Kelso, Scotland in 1950. He is an award winning Writer, Historian and former Director of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Director of Programmes at Scottish Television. He is the founder of Borders Book Festival and Co-Chairman of The Great Tapestry of Scotland.More about Alistair Moffat...