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From Pictland to Alba: 789-1070

(New Edinburgh History of Scotland #2)

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  36 ratings  ·  5 reviews
In the 780s northern Britain was dominated by two great kingdoms; Pictavia, centred in north-eastern Scotland and Northumbria which straddled the modern Anglo-Scottish border. Within a hundred years both of these kingdoms had been thrown into chaos by the onslaught of the Vikings and within two hundred years they had become distant memories. This book charts the transforma ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published June 1st 2007 by Edinburgh University Press (first published January 1st 2007)
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Feb 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, scotland
I come into this topic with a relatively low level of knowledge - just broad strokes and generalization, with no focused study. Certainly, I consider myself more knowledgable than the average American, but likely significantly less than the average Britain or Scots in particular. That said, Woolf has managed to make the information terrifically accessible, easily grounding the reader in the material and the voice of his presentation.

Granted, it is a history book, and not many people are going to
Keith Skinner
I'm giving this 3 stars for the breadth of material but it deserves less than that for readability. I've read numerous histories, much of it scholarly work, and found this book to be completely useless. Useless because the author fails to present the information in digestible context. From the outset, he rattles off dates, names, anthropological minutae, and cites endless previous studies before he even frames the scope of the discussion. The book may work for people already steeped in the mater ...more
Jamie Barringer (Ravenmount)
I was surprised at how readable this book turned out to be. I love reading about the early history of the British Isles anyway, but many books on this subject are a bit dry, best taken a few pages at a time in between more exciting books. This one, on the other hand, I read almost straight through and spent hours online looking up more information and photos afterwards because I was not ready yet to move on to the next book.
Olivia-Petra Coman
I do not agree with some linguistic-related statements concerning the Balkans or with the perspective applied in analysing Scottish history based on Icelandic sagas, but it's a great work and it certainly raises a lot of questions!
Richard Thomas
Dec 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: scottish-history
An excellent up to date account of the emergence of the Scottish kingdom and the quite strange transition from the apparently stronger and more secure Pictish polity to a gaelic monarchy.
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Alex Woolf was born in London in 1964. He has worked as a writer and editor for over 20 years and has published over 40 works of fiction and non-fiction, mainly for young adults. His fiction includes the Chronosphere series, a science-fiction trilogy published by Scribo, and Soul Shadows, an interactive e-novel published by Fiction Express, and shortly to be published in print by Capstone. His sho ...more

Other books in the series

New Edinburgh History of Scotland (7 books)
  • From Caledonia to Pictland: Scotland to 795
  • Domination and Lordship: Scotland, 1070 - 1230
  • The Wars of Scotland, 1214 - 1371
  • The First Stewart Dynasty: Scotland, 1371-1488
  • Scotland Re-formed, 1488 – 1587
  • Impaled Upon a Thistle: Scotland Since 1880