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Abraham Lincoln and Robert Burns
Connected Lives and Legends
Ferenc Morton Szasz
Southern Illinois University Press, 2008

Today the images of Robert Burns and Abraham Lincoln are recognized worldwide, yet few are aware of the connection between the two. In Abraham Lincoln and Robert Burns: Connected Lives and Legends, author Ferenc Morton Szasz reveals how famed Scots poet Robert Burns—and Scotland in general—influenced the life and thought of one of the most beloved and important U.S. presidents and how the legends of the two men became intertwined after their deaths. This is the first extensive work to link the influence, philosophy, and artistry of these two larger-than-life figures.

Lacking a major national poet of their own in the early nineteenth century, Americans in the fledgling frontier country ardently adopted the poignant verses and songs of Scotland’s Robert Burns. Lincoln, too, was fascinated by Scotland’s favorite son and enthusiastically quoted the Scottish bard from his teenage years to the end of his life. Szasz explores the ways in which Burns’s portrayal of the foibles of human nature, his scorn for religious hypocrisy, his plea for nonjudgmental tolerance, and his commitment to social equality helped shape Lincoln’s own philosophy of life. The volume also traces how Burns’s lyrics helped Lincoln develop his own powerful sense of oratorical rhythm, from his casual anecdotal stories to his major state addresses.

Abraham Lincoln and Robert Burns connects the poor-farm-boy upbringings, the quasi-deistic religious views, the shared senses of destiny, the extraordinary gifts for words, and the quests for social equality of two respected and beloved world figures. This book is enhanced by twelve illustrations and two appendixes, which include Burns poems Lincoln particularly admired and Lincoln writings especially admired in Scotland.

 

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Adam Ferguson in the Scottish Enlightenment
Iain McDaniel
Harvard University Press, 2013

Although overshadowed by his contemporaries Adam Smith and David Hume, the Scottish philosopher Adam Ferguson strongly influenced eighteenth-century currents of political thought. A major reassessment of this neglected figure, Adam Ferguson in the Scottish Enlightenment: The Roman Past and Europe’s Future sheds new light on Ferguson as a serious critic, rather than an advocate, of the Enlightenment belief in liberal progress. Unlike the philosophes who looked upon Europe’s growing prosperity and saw confirmation of a utopian future, Ferguson saw something else: a reminder of Rome’s lesson that egalitarian democracy could become a self-undermining path to dictatorship.

Ferguson viewed the intrinsic power struggle between civil and military authorities as the central dilemma of modern constitutional governments. He believed that the key to understanding the forces that propel nations toward tyranny lay in analysis of ancient Roman history. It was the alliance between popular and militaristic factions within the Roman republic, Ferguson believed, which ultimately precipitated its downfall. Democratic forces, intended as a means of liberation from tyranny, could all too easily become the engine of political oppression—a fear that proved prescient when the French Revolution spawned the expansionist wars of Napoleon.

As Iain McDaniel makes clear, Ferguson’s skepticism about the ability of constitutional states to weather pervasive conditions of warfare and emergency has particular relevance for twenty-first-century geopolitics. This revelatory study will resonate with debates over the troubling tendency of powerful democracies to curtail civil liberties and pursue imperial ambitions.

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Adam Smith
The Rhetoric of Propriety
Stephen J. McKenna
Southern Illinois University Press, 2006

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Association and Enlightenment
Scottish Clubs and Societies, 1700-1830
Mark C. Wallace
Bucknell University Press, 2021
Social clubs as they existed in eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Scotland were varied: they could be convivial, sporting, or scholarly, or they could be a significant and dynamic social force, committed to improvement and national regeneration as well as to sociability. The essays in this volume examine the complex history of clubs and societies in Scotland from 1700 to 1830. Contributors address attitudes toward associations, their meeting places and rituals, their links with the growth of the professions and with literary culture, and the ways in which they were structured by both class and gender. By widening the context in which clubs and societies are set, the collection offers a new framework for understanding them, bringing together the inheritance of the Scottish past, the unique and cohesive polite culture of the Scottish Enlightenment, and the broader context of associational patterns common to Britain, Ireland, and beyond.
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A Belfast Girl
A 1960s American folk music legend weaves stories of a girlhood on “the singing streets” of Ireland, marriage in Scotland, and arrival in America
Maggi Kerr Peirce
Parkhurst Brothers, Inc., 2013

A 1960s American folk music legend weaves stories of a girlhood on “the singing streets” of Ireland, marriage in Scotland, and arrival in America

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Beside the Bard
Scottish Lowland Poetry in the Age of Burns
George S. Christian
Bucknell University Press, 2020
Beside the Bard argues that Scottish poetry in the age of Burns reclaims not a single past, dominated and overwritten by the unitary national language of an elite ruling class, but a past that conceptualizes the Scottish nation in terms of local self-identification, linguistic multiplicity, cultural and religious difference, and transnational political and cultural affiliations. This fluid conception of the nation may accommodate a post-Union British self-identification, but it also recognizes the instrumental and historically contingent nature of “Britishness.” Whether male or female, loyalist or radical, literati or autodidacts, poets such as Alexander Wilson, Carolina Olyphant, Robert Tannahill, and John Lapraik, among others, adamantly refuse to imagine a single nation, British or otherwise, instead preferring an open, polyvocal field, on which they can stage new national and personal formations and fight new revolutions. In this sense, “Scotland” is a revolutionary category, always subject to creative destruction and reformation.

Published by Bucknell University Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press. 
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Boswell’s Enlightenment
Robert Zaretsky
Harvard University Press, 2015

Throughout his life, James Boswell struggled to fashion a clear account of himself, but try as he might, he could not reconcile the truths of his era with those of his religious upbringing. Boswell’s Enlightenment examines the conflicting credos of reason and faith, progress and tradition that pulled Boswell, like so many eighteenth-century Europeans, in opposing directions. In the end, the life of the man best known for writing Samuel Johnson’s biography was something of a patchwork affair. As Johnson himself understood: “That creature was its own tormentor, and I believe its name was BOSWELL.”

Few periods in Boswell’s life better crystallize this internal turmoil than 1763–1765, the years of his Grand Tour and the focus of Robert Zaretsky’s thrilling intellectual adventure. From the moment Boswell sailed for Holland from the port of Harwich, leaving behind on the beach his newly made friend Dr. Johnson, to his return to Dover from Calais a year and a half later, the young Scot was intent on not just touring historic and religious sites but also canvassing the views of the greatest thinkers of the age. In his relentless quizzing of Voltaire and Rousseau, Hume and Johnson, Paoli and Wilkes on topics concerning faith, the soul, and death, he was not merely a celebrity-seeker but—for want of a better term—a truth-seeker. Zaretsky reveals a life more complex and compelling than suggested by the label “Johnson’s biographer,” and one that 250 years later registers our own variations of mind.

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Civilizing Money
Hume, his Monetary Project, and the Scottish Enlightenment
George Caffentzis
Pluto Press, 2021

Taking the Scottish Enlightenment philosopher David Hume as its subject, this book breaks new ground in focusing its lens on a little-studied aspect of Hume’s thinking: his understanding of money.

George Caffentzis makes both an intervention in the field of monetary philosophy and into Marxian conceptions of the relation between philosophy and capitalist development. He vividly charts the ways in which Hume’s philosophy directly informed the project of ‘civilizing’ the people of the Scottish Highlands and pacifying the English proletariat in response to the revolts of both groups at the heart of the empire.

Built on careful historical and philosophical detective work, Civilizing Money offers a stimulating and radical political reading of the ways in which Hume’s fundamental philosophical claims performed concrete political functions.

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Coal Country
The Meaning and Memory of Deindustrialization in Postwar Scotland
Ewan Gibbs
University of London Press, 2022
The flooding and subsequent closure of Scotland’s last deep coal mine in 2002 was a milestone event in the nation’s deindustrialization. Villages and towns across the densely populated Central Belt of Scotland owe their existence to coal mining’s expansion during the nineteenth century and its maturation in the twentieth. Colliery closures and job losses were not just experienced in economic terms: they also had profound social, cultural, and political implications. Coal Country documents this process of deindustrialization and its effects, drawing on archival records from the UK government, the nationalized coal industry, trade unions, and transcripts from an extensive oral history project. Deindustrialization, we learn, progressed slowly but powerfully across the second half of the twentieth century. Coal Country explains the deep roots of economic changes and their political reverberations, which continue to be felt to this day.
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Communication Ethics and Tenacious Hope
Contemporary Implications of the Scottish Enlightenment
Ronald C. Arnett with Foreword by Thomas M. Lessl
Southern Illinois University Press, 2022
WINNER, 2022 National Communication Association Top Single-Author Book of the Year in the Communication Ethics Division!

Tenacious hope, the heart of a just and free society 
 
During the Enlightenment, Scottish intellectuals and administrators met the demands of profit and progress while shepherding concerns for self and other, individual and community, and family and work. Communication Ethics and Tenacious Hope captures the “unity of contraries,” offering the Scottish Enlightenment as an exemplar of tenacious hope countering the excesses of individualism. Ronald C. Arnett reveals two stories: the struggle between optimism and tenacious hope, and optimism’s ultimate triumph in the exclusion of difference and the reification of progress as an ultimate good. 
 
In chapters that detail the legacies of Lord Provost George Drummond, Adam Smith, David Hume, Thomas Reid, George Campbell, Adam Ferguson, and Sir Walter Scott, Arnett highlights the problematic nature of optimism and the ethical agency of tenacious hope. Arnett illustrates the creative union of education and administration, the ability to accept doubt within systems of knowledge and imagination, and an abiding connection to local soil. As principles of progress, free will, and capitalism swept Europe, proponents of optimism envisioned a world of consumerism and absolutes. In contrast, practitioners of tenacious hope embraced uncertainty and compassion as pragmatic necessities.
 
This work continues Arnett’s scholarship, articulating the vital importance of communication ethics. Those seeking to discern and support a temporal sense of the good in this historical moment will find in this timely work the means to pursue, hold, and nourish tenacious hope. This insightful theorization of the Scottish Enlightenment distills the substance of a just and free society for meeting dangerous and uncertain times. 
 
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Directory of World Cinema
Scotland
Edited by Bob Nowlan and Zach Finch
Intellect Books, 2015
Scotland, its people, and its history have long been a source of considerable fascination and inspiration for filmmakers, film scholars, and film audiences worldwide. A significant number of critically acclaimed films made in the last twenty-five years have ignited passionate conversations and debates about Scottish national cinema. Its historical, industrial, and cultural complexities and contradictions have made it all the more a focus of attention and interest for both popular audiences and scholarly critics.
 
Directory of World Cinema: Scotland provides an introduction to many of Scottish cinema’s most important and influential themes and issues, films, and filmmakers, while adding to the ongoing discussion concerning how to make sense of Scotland’s cinematic traditions and contributions.  Chapters on filmmakers range from Murray Grigor to Ken Loach, and Gaelic filmmaking, radical and engaged cinema, production, finance, and documentary are just a few of the topics explored.  Film reviews range from popular box office hits such as Braveheart, and Trainspotting to lesser known but equally engaging independent and lower budget productions, such as Shell and Orphans. This book is both a stimulating and accessible resource for a wide range of readers interested in Scottish film.
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Discovering the Scottish Revolution 1692-1746
Neil Davidson
Pluto Press, 2003
This major new work of historical scholarship offers a groundbreaking reassessment of Scottish politics and society in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century that is set to become a standard work on the subject. Neil Davidson argues that Scotland experienced a revolution during this period that has rarely been recognised in the existing historiography.

Davidson explores the political and economic changes of these years, revealing how social and economic power was transferred from one class to another. He describes how Scotland was transformed from a backward and feudal economy to a new centre of emergent capitalism. He traces the economic and social crisis that led to Scotland's incorporation into the Union in 1707, but argues that the Union did not lead to the transformation of Scottish society. The decisive period was instead the aftermath of the last Jacobite revolt in 1746, whose failure was integral to the survival and consolidation of British, and ultimately global capitalism.

'His opinions are bound to cause controversy and discussion ... a good thing as Scottish history desperately needs the airing and voicing of new approaches.'
John R Young, Albion.

‘What is so good about Neil Davidson’s brave study is that he brings a Marxist perspective to bear on Scottish history in very clear and readable prose. Quotations and statistics drawn from uncannily wide reading will make this book of great value even to those who disagree with it.’
Angus Calder, author of Revolutionary Empire and Revolving Culture: Notes from the Scottish Republic
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Dr. Joe Bell
Model for Sherlock Holmes
Ely M. Liebow
University of Wisconsin Press, 1982

     A distinguished physician and professor of medicine at Edinburgh University, and a forensic expert for the British Crown, Joseph Bell was well known for his remarkable powers of observation and deduction. In what would become true Sherlockian fashion, he had the ability to deduce facts about his patients from otherwise unremarkable details. In one instance recounted by Arthur Conan Doyle himself—and similar to Sherlock Holmes's own observations in "The Greek Interpreter"—Bell took little time to determine that one of his patients had recently served in the army, a non-commissioned officer discharged from his Highland regiment stationed in Barbados:

“The man was a respectful man, but did not remove his hat. They do not in the army, but he would have learned civilian ways had he been long discharged. He has an air of authority and he is obviously Scottish. As to Barbados, his complaint is elephantitis, which is West Indian and not British.”

     Based on extensive research into the life of Bell and including tantalizing accounts of the connections between Bell and Conan Doyle, this biography is required reading for anyone interested in Victorian medicine, in the history of detective fiction, and in Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.

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Dr. Livingstone, I Presume?
Missionaries, Journalists, Explorers, and Empire
Clare Pettitt
Harvard University Press, 2007

When the American reporter Henry Morton Stanley stepped out of the jungle in 1871 and doffed his pith helmet to the Scottish missionary-explorer Dr. David Livingstone, his greeting was to take on mythological proportions. But do any of us really know what his words meant at the time--and what they have come to mean since?

Far from meeting in a remote thicket in "Darkest Africa," Stanley met Livingstone in the middle of a thriving Muslim community. The news of their encounter was transmitted around the globe, and Livingstone instantly became one of the world's first international celebrities.

This book shows how urgently a handshake between a Briton and an American was needed to heal the rift between the two countries after the American Civil War. It uncovers for the first time the journeys that Livingstone's African servants made around Britain after his death, and it makes a case for Stanley's immense influence on the idea of the modern at the dawn of the twentieth century. Drawing on films, children's books, games, songs, cartoons, and TV shows, this book reveals the many ways our culture has remembered Stanley's phrase, while tracking the birth of an Anglo-American Christian imperialism that still sets the world agenda today.

Dr. Livingstone, I Presume? is a story of conflict and paradox that also takes us into the extraordinary history of British engagement with Africa. Clare Pettitt shows both the bleakest side of imperialism and the strange afterlife of a historical event in popular mythmaking and music hall jokes.

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The Emperor of Ice-Cream
Dan Gunn
Seagull Books, 2014
In The Emperor of Ice-Cream, we are introduced to Lucia. Now in her eighties, this daughter of Italian immigrants looks back on her youth spent in Scotland during the 1920s and 30s. She remembers her three brothers, Dario, Giulio and Emilio, and the very different ways they lived through these decades: the eldest establishes the Edinburgh Fascist club, the second sets up a luxurious ice-cream parlor, the youngest hones his verbal skills for a future as a poet. Lucia learns what it is to be an immigrant and to wonder where ‘home’ is; she encounters religious sectarianism, idealism, and disillusionment. She experiences passion, hope, and disappointment.

When she falls in love in Rome, it appears that happiness is Lucia’s for the asking, until unstoppable forces intervene—in both of her countries. With mounting tension, her tale leads through the rise of Fascism to the terrible moment in June 1940 when Mussolini declares war, and British Italians are interned. When hundreds are herded as ‘enemy aliens’ onto a ship bound for exile, among their number are two of her brothers. Determined to tell their story before it is too late, Lucia gives an account of one of the most shameful episodes in Britain’s Second World War.

Through his portrayal of Lucia’s singular vision and voice, Dan Gunn has created an unforgettable character who, while registering the buffets of history, is—just possibly—writing herself toward some overdue inner peace.
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The Enlightenment and the Book
Scottish Authors and Their Publishers in Eighteenth-Century Britain, Ireland, and America
Richard B. Sher
University of Chicago Press, 2007

The late eighteenth century witnessed an explosion of intellectual activity in Scotland by such luminaries as David Hume, Adam Smith, Hugh Blair, William Robertson, Adam Ferguson, James Boswell, and Robert Burns. And the books written by these seminal thinkers made a significant mark during their time in almost every field of polite literature and higher learning throughout Britain, Europe, and the Americas. 

In this magisterial history, Richard B. Sher breaks new ground for our understanding of the Enlightenment and the forgotten role of publishing during that period. The Enlightenment and the Book seeks to remedy the common misperception that such classics as The Wealth of Nations and The Life of Samuel Johnson were written by authors who eyed their publishers as minor functionaries in their profession. To the contrary, Sher shows how the process of bookmaking during the late eighteenth-century involved a deeply complex partnership between authors and their publishers, one in which writers saw the book industry not only as pivotal in the dissemination of their ideas, but also as crucial to their dreams of fame and monetary gain. Similarly, Sher demonstrates that publishers were involved in the project of bookmaking in order to advance human knowledge as well as to accumulate profits. 

The Enlightenment and the Book explores this tension between creativity and commerce that still exists in scholarly publishing today. Lavishly illustrated and elegantly conceived, it will be must reading for anyone interested in the history of the book or the production and diffusion of Enlightenment thought.

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Exhibiting Scotland
Objects, Identity, and the National Museum
Alima Bucciantini
University of Massachusetts Press, 2018
In 1707 Scotland ceased to exist as an independent country and became part of Great Britain. Yet it never lost its distinct sense of identity, history, and politics. To preserve the country's unique antiquities and natural specimens, a Scottish earl founded the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland in 1780, at the beginning of the Enlightenment's museum boom. Now numbering twelve million objects and specimens and representing everything from archaeology to applied arts and design, from social history to science and the natural world, these collections formed the foundation for what eventually became the National Museum of Scotland.

In Exhibiting Scotland, Alima Bucciantini traces how these collections have helped tell the changing stories of this country for centuries and how the museum reflects the Scots' continuing negotiation of their place within modern Britain.
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EXILE
A MEMOIR OF 1939
Bronka Schneider. Edited with Forewords by Erika Bourguignon and Barbara Hill Rigney.
The Ohio State University Press, 1998

Bronka Schneider and her husband, Joseph, were two of the thirty thousand Austrian Jews admitted as refugees to Great Britain between March 1938 and 2 September 1939. It was not until 1960, however, that Schneider wrote her memoir about the year she spent as a housekeeper, with Joseph as a butler, in a Scottish castle.

Schneider tells of daily encounters—with her employers, the English lady and her husband, a retired British civil servant who had spent many years in India; the village locals; other refugees; and a family of evacuees from the slums of Glasgow.

The editors have divided this memoir into chapters, adding headlines from the London Times as epigraphs. These headlines, reporting the escalating events of World War II, are in stark contrast to daily activities of the residents of this isolated region of Scotland. A commentary by Erika Bourguignon provides historical, political, and cultural background of this period.

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The Fight for Scottish Democracy
Rebellion and Reform in 1820
Murray Armstrong
Pluto Press, 2020
Three Scottish weavers, James Wilson, Andrew Hardie and John Baird, were hanged and beheaded for high treason in the summer of 1820. Nineteen more men were transported to the penal colony of Botany Bay. Their crime? To have taken up arms against a corrupt and nepotistic parliament, and the aristocratic government that refused to reform it.

This 'Radical War' was the culmination of five years of unsuccessful mass petitioning of Westminster by working people in Scotland and England. The contempt and intransigence of the Tory government forced an escalation in tactics, and on Easter Monday of 1820, the call for a general strike was answered throughout the western counties of Scotland. Their demands were threefold: the vote for all men, annual parliaments and equal constituencies. Coupled with an armed rebellion, the strike was met by the full military might of the British state; hundreds were arrested and imprisoned without trial, while hundreds more fled the country.

This Scottish general strike and insurrection is a little-known chapter of British history and yet remains an immensely important one in the long fight for democracy. In The Fight for Scottish Democracy, Murray Armstrong brings these events dramatically to life.
 
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Freud's Couch, Scott's Buttocks, Brontë's Grave
Simon Goldhill
University of Chicago Press, 2011

The Victorian era was the high point of literary tourism. Writers such as Charles Dickens, George Eliot, and Sir Walter Scott became celebrities, and readers trekked far and wide for a glimpse of the places where their heroes wrote and thought, walked and talked. Even Shakespeare was roped in, as Victorian entrepreneurs transformed quiet Stratford-upon-Avon into a combination shrine and tourist trap.

Stratford continues to lure the tourists today, as do many other sites of literary pilgrimage throughout Britain. And our modern age could have no better guide to such places than Simon Goldhill. In Freud's Couch, Scott’s Buttocks, Brontë's Grave, Goldhill makes a pilgrimage to Sir Walter Scott's baronial mansion, Wordsworth's cottage in the Lake District, the Bront ë parsonage, Shakespeare's birthplace, and Freud's office in Hampstead. Traveling, as much as possible, by methods available to Victorians—and gamely negotiating distractions ranging from broken bicycles to a flock of giggling Japanese schoolgirls—he tries to discern what our forebears were looking for at these sites, as well as what they have to say to the modern mind. What does it matter that Emily Brontë’s hidden passions burned in this specific room? What does it mean, especially now that his fame has faded, that Scott self-consciously built an extravagant castle suitable for Ivanhoe—and star-struck tourists visited it while he was still living there? Or that Freud's meticulous recreation of his Vienna office is now a meticulously preserved museum of itself? Or that Shakespeare’s birthplace features student actors declaiming snippets of his plays . . . in the garden of a house where he almost certainly never wrote a single line?

Goldhill brings to these inquiries his trademark wry humor and a lifetime's engagement with literature. The result is a travel book like no other, a reminder that even today, the writing life still has the power to inspire.

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The Glasgow Sugar Aristocracy
Scotland and Caribbean Slavery, 1775–1838
Stephen Mullen
University of London Press, 2020
The first book to outline Scotland’s colonial past and Glasgow’s direct links with the slave trade through sugar plantations.

This important book assesses the size and nature of Caribbean slavery’s economic impact on British society. The Glasgow Sugar Aristocracy, a grouping of West India merchants and planters, became active before the emancipation of chattel slavery in the British West Indies in 1834. Many acquired nationally significant fortunes, and their investments percolated into the Scottish economy and wider society. At its core, the book traces the development of merchant capital and poses several interrelated questions during an era of rapid transformation, namely, what impact the private investments of West India merchants and colonial adventurers had on metropolitan society and the economy, as well as the wider effects of such commerce on industrial and agricultural development.
 
The book also examines the fortunes of temporary Scottish economic migrants who traveled to some of the wealthiest of the Caribbean islands, presenting the first large-scale survey of repatriated slavery fortunes via case studies of Scots in Jamaica, Grenada, and Trinidad before emancipation in 1834. It, therefore, takes a new approach to illuminate the world of individuals who acquired West Indian fortunes and ultimately explores, in an Atlantic frame, the interconnections between the colonies and metropole in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
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The Highlands Controversy
Constructing Geological Knowledge through Fieldwork in Nineteenth-Century Britain
David R. Oldroyd
University of Chicago Press, 1990
The Highlands Controversy is a rich and perceptive account of the third and last major dispute in nineteenth-century geology stemming from the work of Sir Roderick Murchison. The earlier Devonian and Cambrian-Silurian controversies centered on whether the strata of Devon and Wales should be classified by lithological or paleontological criteria, but the Highlands dispute arose from the difficulties the Scottish Highlands presented to geologists who were just learning to decipher the very complex processes of mountain building and metamorphism. David Oldroyd follows this controversy into the last years of the nineteenth century, as geology was transformed by increasing professionalization and by the development of new field and laboratory techniques. In telling this story, Oldroyd's aim is to analyze how scientific knowledge is constructed within a competitive scientific community—how theory, empirical findings, and social factors interact in the formation of knowledge.

Oldroyd uses archival material and his own extensive reconstruction of the nineteenth-century fieldwork in a case study showing how detailed maps and sections made it possible to understand the exceptionally complex geological structure of the Highlands

An invaluable addition to the history of geology, The Highlands Controversy also makes important contributions to our understanding of the social and conceptual processes of scientific work, especially in times of heated dispute.
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Indian Captive, Indian King
Peter Williamson in America and Britain
Timothy J. Shannon
Harvard University Press, 2018

In 1758 Peter Williamson appeared on the streets of Aberdeen, Scotland, dressed as a Native American and telling a remarkable tale. He claimed that as a young boy he had been kidnapped from the city and sold into slavery in America. In performances and in a printed narrative he peddled to his audiences, Williamson described his tribulations as an indentured servant, Indian captive, soldier, and prisoner of war. Aberdeen’s magistrates called him a liar and banished him from the city, but Williamson defended his story.

Separating fact from fiction, Timothy J. Shannon explains what Williamson’s tale says about how working people of eighteenth-century Britain, so often depicted as victims of empire, found ways to create lives and exploit opportunities within it. Exiled from Aberdeen, Williamson settled in Edinburgh, where he cultivated enduring celebrity as the self-proclaimed “king of the Indians.” His performances and publications capitalized on the curiosity the Seven Years’ War had ignited among the public for news and information about America and its native inhabitants. As a coffeehouse proprietor and printer, he gave audiences a plebeian perspective on Britain’s rise to imperial power in North America.

Indian Captive, Indian King is a history of empire from the bottom up, showing how Williamson’s American odyssey illuminates the real-life experiences of everyday people on the margins of the British Empire and how those experiences, when repackaged in travel narratives and captivity tales, shaped popular perceptions about the empire’s racial and cultural geography.

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James Watt
Making the World Anew
Ben Russell
Reaktion Books, 2014
Scottish inventor and mechanical engineer James Watt (1736–1819) is best known for his pioneering work on the steam engine that became fundamental to the incredible changes and developments wrought by the Industrial Revolution. But in this new biography, Ben Russell tells a much bigger, richer story, peering over Watt’s shoulder to more fully explore the processes he used and how his ephemeral ideas were transformed into tangible artifacts. Over the course of the book, Russell reveals as much about the life of James Watt as he does a history of Britain’s early industrial transformation and the birth of professional engineering.
           
To record this fascinating narrative, Russell draws on a wide range of resources—from archival material to three-dimensional objects to scholarship in a diversity of fields from ceramics to antique machine-making. He explores Watt’s early years and interest in chemistry and examines Watt’s partnership with Matthew Boulton, with whom he would become a successful and wealthy man. In addition to discussing Watt’s work and incredible contributions that changed societies around the world, Russell looks at Britain’s early industrial transformation. Published in association with the Science Museum London, and with seventy illustrations, James Watt is not only an intriguing exploration of the engineer’s life, but also an illuminating journey into the broader practices of invention in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
 
Published in association with the Science Museum, London
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John Logie Baird
Television pioneer
Russell W. Burns
The Institution of Engineering and Technology, 2000
Professor Russell Burns attempts to offer a balanced biography of one of the twentieth century's outstanding inventors, published to coincide with the 75th anniversary of Baird's first public demonstration of a rudimentary television system. The author's meticulous treatment is based on primary source documents although many personal recollections are included to add humour, colour and context. A great deal of material regarding Baird's business partnerships in the early 1920s has only recently become available to researchers and is covered here for the first time.
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John Maclean
Hero of Red Clydeside
Henry Bell
Pluto Press, 2018
“I am not here, then, as the accused; I am here as the accuser of capitalism dripping with blood from head to foot.”—John Maclean, Speech from the Dock, 1918
 
Feared by the government, adored by workers, celebrated by Lenin and Trotsky. The head of British Military Intelligence called John Maclean (1879–1923) “the most dangerous man in Britain.”
            This new biography explores the events that shaped the life of a momentous man—from the Great War and the Great Unrest to the Rent Strike and the Russian Revolution. It examines his work as an organizer and educator, his imprisonment and hunger strike, and his rise to the position of Britain’s most famous revolutionary. At a moment when radical politics is drawing renewed attention and support, Maclean’s example of activism and commitment is as timely as ever.
 
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Journey
The Gateway Theatre Building and Company, 1884-1965
Ian Brown
Intellect Books, 2013

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King James and Letters of Homoerotic Desire
David M. Bergeron
University of Iowa Press, 1999

What can we know of the private lives of early British sovereigns? Through the unusually large number of letters that survive from King James VI of Scotland/James I of England (1566-1625), we can know a great deal. Using original letters, primarily from the British Library and the National Library of Scotland, David Bergeron creatively argues that James' correspondence with certain men in his court constitutes a gospel of homoerotic desire. Bergeron grounds his provocative study on an examination of the tradition of letter writing during the Renaissance and draws a connection between homosexual desire and letter writing during that historical period.

King James, commissioner of the Bible translation that bears his name, corresponded with three principal male favorites—Esmé Stuart (Lennox), Robert Carr (Somerset), and George Villiers (Buckingham). Esmé Stuart, James' older French cousin, arrived in Scotland in 1579 and became an intimate adviser and friend to the adolescent king. Though Esmé was eventually forced into exile by Scottish nobles, his letters to James survive, as does James' hauntingly allegorical poem Phoenix. The king's close relationship with Carr began in 1607. James' letters to Carr reveal remarkable outbursts of sexual frustration and passion.

A large collection of letters exchanged between James and Buckingham in the 1620s provides the clearest evidence for James' homoerotic desires. During a protracted separation in 1623, letters between the two raced back and forth. These artful, self-conscious letters explore themes of absence, the pleasure of letters, and a preoccupation with the body. Familial and sexual terms become wonderfully intertwined, as when James greets Buckingham as "my sweet child and wife."

King James and Letters of Homoerotic Desire presents a modern-spelling edition of seventy-five letters exchanged between Buckingham and James. Across the centuries, commentators have condemned the letters as indecent or repulsive. Bergeron argues that on the contrary they reveal an inward desire of king and subject in a mutual exchange of love.

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Legislating Instability
Adam Smith, Free Banking, and the Financial Crisis of 1772
Tyler Beck Goodspeed
Harvard University Press, 2016

From 1716 to 1845, Scotland’s banks were among the most dynamic and resilient in Europe, effectively absorbing a series of adverse economic shocks that rocked financial markets in London and on the continent. Legislating Instability explains the seeming paradox that the Scottish banking system achieved this success without the government controls usually considered necessary for economic stability.

Eighteenth-century Scottish banks operated in a regulatory vacuum: no central bank to act as lender of last resort, no monopoly on issuing currency, no legal requirements for maintaining capital reserves, and no formal limits on bank size. These conditions produced a remarkably robust banking system, one that was intensely competitive and served as a prime engine of Scottish economic growth. Despite indicators that might have seemed red flags—large speculative capital flows, a fixed exchange rate, and substantial external debt—Scotland successfully navigated two severe financial crises during the Seven Years’ War.

The exception was a severe financial crisis in 1772, seven years after the imposition of the first regulations on Scottish banking—the result of aggressive lobbying by large banks seeking to weed out competition. While these restrictions did not cause the 1772 crisis, Tyler Beck Goodspeed argues, they critically undermined the flexibility and resilience previously exhibited by Scottish finance, thereby elevating the risk that another adverse economic shock, such as occurred in 1772, might threaten financial stability more broadly. Far from revealing the shortcomings of unregulated banking, as Adam Smith claimed, the 1772 crisis exposed the risks of ill-conceived bank regulation.

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The Life and Legend of James Watt
Collaboration, Natural Philosophy, and the Improvement of the Steam Engine
David Philip Miller
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2020

The Life and Legend of James Wattoffers a deeper understanding of the work and character of the great eighteenth-century engineer. Stripping away layers of legend built over generations, David Philip Miller finds behind the heroic engineer a conflicted man often diffident about his achievements but also ruthless in protecting his inventions and ideas, and determined in pursuit of money and fame. A skilled and creative engineer, Watt was also a compulsive experimentalist drawn to natural philosophical inquiry, and a chemistry of heat underlay much of his work, including his steam engineering. But Watt pursued the business of natural philosophy in a way characteristic of his roots in the Scottish “improving” tradition that was in tension with Enlightenment sensibilities. As Miller demonstrates, Watt’s accomplishments relied heavily on collaborations, not always acknowledged, with business partners, employees, philosophical friends, and, not least, his wives, children, and wider family. The legend created in his later years and “afterlife” claimed too much of nineteenth-century technology for Watt, but that legend was, and remains, a powerful cultural force.
 

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Love of Country
A Journey through the Hebrides
Madeleine Bunting
University of Chicago Press, 2017
Few landscapes are as striking as that of the Hebrides, the hundreds of small islands that speckle the waters off Scotland’s northwest coast. The jagged, rocky cliffs and roiling waves serve as a reminder of the islands’ dramatic geological history, inspiring awe and dread in those drawn there. With Britain at their back and facing the Atlantic, the Hebrides were at the center of ancient shipping routes and have a remarkable cultural history as well, as a meeting place for countless cultures that interacted with a long, rich Gaelic tradition.

After years of hearing about Scotland as a place deeply interwoven with the story of her family, Madeleine Bunting was driven to see for herself this place so symbolic and full of history. Most people travel in search of the unfamiliar, to leave behind the comfort of what’s known to explore some suitably far-flung corner of the globe. From the first pages, it’s clear that Madeleine Bunting’s Love of Country marks a different kind of journey—one where all paths lead to a closer understanding of home, but a home bigger than Bunting’s corner of Britain, the drizzly, busy streets of London with their scream of sirens and high-rise developments crowding the sky. Over six years, Bunting returned again and again to the Hebrides, fascinated by the question of what it means to belong there, a question that on these islands has been fraught with tenacious resistance and sometimes tragedy. With great sensitivity, she takes readers through the Hebrides’ history of dispossession and displacement, a history that can be understand only in the context of Britain’s imperial past, and she shows how the Hebrides have been repeatedly used to define and imagine Britain. In recent years, the relationship between Britain and Scotland has been subject to its most testing scrutiny, and Bunting’s travels became a way to reflect on what might be lost and what new possibilities might lie ahead.

For all who have wondered how it might feel to stand face-out at the edge of home, Love of Country is a revelatory journey through one of the world’s most remote, beautiful landscapes that encourages us to think of the many identities we wear as we walk our paths, and how it is possible to belong to many places while at the same time not wholly belonging to any.
 
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Mackintosh's Masterwork
The Glassgow School of Art
Buchanan, William
Rutgers University Press, 2004

Of the many practitioners of art nouveau in Great Britain, Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868–1928) has outlasted them all. His work bridged the more ornate style of the later nineteenth century and the forms of international modernism that followed. Like Frank Lloyd Wright, with whom he is frequently compared, he is known for so thoroughly integrating art and decoration that the two became inseparable. His work has been honored by a major exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and his designs have proliferated to such an extent that they can be found reproduced in posters, prints, jewelry, and even new buildings. His most important project was the Glasgow School of Art, which still functions as a highly prestigious art school. This glorious building is visited each year by thousands of tourists from around the world. Built over a dozen years, beginning in 1897, the Glasgow School of Art is Mackintosh’s greatest and most influential legacy.

            This completely redesigned and heavily illustrated edition of Mackintosh’s Masterwork has been greatly expanded and contains newly discovered material about both the early life of the architect and the formative years in which his plans for the School of Art were executed.

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Media and the Mind
Art, Science, and Notebooks as Paper Machines, 1700-1830
Matthew Daniel Eddy
University of Chicago Press, 2022
A beautifully illustrated argument that reveals notebooks as extraordinary paper machines that transformed knowledge on the page and in the mind.

We often think of reason as a fixed entity, as a definitive body of facts that do not change over time. But during the Enlightenment, reason also was seen as a process, as a set of skills enacted on a daily basis. How, why, and where were these skills learned? Concentrating on Scottish students living during the long eighteenth century, this book argues that notebooks were paper machines and that notekeeping was a capability-building exercise that enabled young notekeepers to mobilize everyday handwritten and printed forms of material and visual media in a way that empowered them to judge and enact the enlightened principles they encountered in the classroom. Covering a rich selection of material ranging from simple scribbles to intricate watercolor diagrams, the book reinterprets John Locke’s comparison of the mind to a blank piece of paper, the tabula rasa. Although one of the most recognizable metaphors of the British Enlightenment, scholars seldom consider why it was so successful for those who used it. Each chapter uses one core notekeeping skill to reveal the fascinating world of material culture that enabled students in the arts, sciences, and humanities to transform the tabula rasa metaphor into a dynamic cognitive model. Starting in the home, moving to schools, and ending with universities, the book reconstructs the relationship between media and the mind from the bottom up. It reveals that the cognitive skills required to make and use notebooks were not simply aids to reason; rather, they were part of reason itself.
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Nineteenth-Century Scottish Rhetoric
The American Connection
Winifred Bryan Horner
Southern Illinois University Press, 1992

Winifred Bryan Horner argues that an understanding of the changes that occurred in the content of nineteenth-century courses in logic, rhetoric, and belles lettres taught in Scottish universities provides important critical insight into the development of the twentieth-century American composition course, as well as courses in English literature and critical theory.

Because of the inaccessibility of primary materials documenting the changes in courses taught at Scottish universities, the impression remains that the nineteenth century represents a break with the traditional school curriculum rather than a logical transition to a new focus of study. Horner has discovered that the notes of students who attended these classes—meticulously transcribed records of the lectures that professors dictated in lieu of printed texts—provide reliable documentation of the content of courses taught during the period. Using these records, Horner traces the evolution of current traditional composition, developed in the United States in the first part of the twentieth century, from courses taught in nineteenth-century, northern Scottish universities. She locates the beginning of courses in English literature and belletristic composition in the southern schools, particularly Edinburgh.

Horner’s study opens new vistas for the study of the evolution of university curricula, especially the never before acknowledged influence of belletristric rhetoric on the development of the North American composition course.

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The Origins of Scottish Nationhood
Neil Davidson
Pluto Press, 2000

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The Picts Re-Imagined
Julianna Grigg
Arc Humanities Press, 2018
Pictish studies is undergoing significant revision and invigoration, with recent archaeological discoveries and new methodologies in archaeology, cultural geography and art history prompting a re-assessment of Pictish cultural and social development. We can now say more about the cultural and political lives of the Picts than ever before, and these new findings are enabling a fresh perspective on the wider development of Early Medieval polities across the Latin west. This short book provides an exciting and informed synthesis of our current understanding of Pictish history and material remains.
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Restoring Baird's Image
Donald F. McLean
The Institution of Engineering and Technology, 2000
John Logie Baird, Britain's foremost television pioneer, experimented with video recording onto gramophone discs in the late 1920s. Though unsuccessful at the time, his experiments resulted in several videodiscs, some 25 years before the videotape recorder became practical. These videodiscs - called Phonovision - remained neglected over the decades, considered by experts as unplayable.
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The Road to Independence?
Scotland in the Balance, Revised and Expanded Second Edition
Murray Pittock
Reaktion Books, 2013
Independence has been a contested issue in Scotland since the region was first invaded by England in 1707, and the realm continues to linger between regional status and full sovereignty. The issue of independence has risen to the forefront of Scottish discussion in the past fifty years, and Murray Pittock offers here an examination of modern Scottish nationalism and what it means for the United Kingdom.
 
Pittock charts Scotland’s economic, cultural, and social histories, focusing on the history and cultural impact of Scottish cities and industries, the role of multiculturalism in contemporary Scottish society, and the upheaval of devolution, including the 2007 election of Scotland’s first nationalist government. From the architecture and art of Edinburgh and Glasgow to the Scottish Parliament, the book investigates every aspect of modern Scottish society to explain the striking rise of Scottish nationalism since 1960. Now brought up to date and with a new foreword by Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, The Road to Independence? reveals a new perspective on modern Scottish culture on the eve of Scotland’s referendum on independence from the UK in September 2014.
 
“Enormously informative and often thought-provoking. . . . This book could hardly be improved on: it’s lively, lucid, witty, beautifully written.”—Scotsman
 
“A well-arranged exposition of the various pressures and stresses Scottish society has faced and faces still.”—Diplomat
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The Road to Independence?
Scotland since the Sixties
Murray Pittock
Reaktion Books, 2008
Independence has been a contested issue in Scotland since the region was first invaded by England in 1707, and the realm continues to linger in a no-man’s land between regional status and full sovereignty. The issue of independence has risen to the forefront of Scottish discussion in the past fifty years and Murray Pittock offers here an examination of modern Scottish nationalism and what it means for the United Kingdom.

            Pittock charts Scotland’s economic, cultural, and social histories, focusing on the history and cultural impact of Scottish cities and industries, the role of multiculturalism in contemporary Scottish society, and the upheaval of devolution, including the 2007 election of Scotland’s first nationalist government. From the architecture and art of Edinburgh and Glasgow to the Scottish Parliament, the book investigates every aspect of modern Scottish society to explain the striking rise of Scottish nationalism since 1960. The Road to Independence? reveals a new perspective on modern Scottish culture, making it an invaluable read for history scholars and lovers of Scotland alike.
 
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SCOTLAND BRITAIN EMPIRE
WRITING THE HIGHLANDS, 1760-1860
KENNETH MCNEIL
The Ohio State University Press, 2007
Scotland, Britain, Empire takes on a cliché that permeates writing from and about the literature of the Scottish Highlands. Popular and influential in its time, this literature fell into disrepute for circulating a distorted and deforming myth that aided in Scotland’s marginalization by consigning Scottish culture into the past while drawing a mist over harsher realities.

Kenneth McNeil invokes recent work in postcolonial studies to show how British writers of the Romantic period were actually shaping a more complex national and imperial consciousness. He discusses canonical works—the works of James Macpherson and Sir Walter Scott—and noncanonical and nonliterary works—particularly in the fields of historiography, anthropology, and sociology. This book calls for a rethinking of the “romanticization” of the Highlands and shows that Scottish writing on the Highlands reflects the unique circumstances of a culture simultaneously feeling the weight of imperial “anglobalization” while playing a vital role in its inception.
 
While writers from both sides of the Highland line looked to the traditions, language, and landscape of the Highlands to define their national character, the Highlands were deemed the space of the primitive—like other spaces around the globe brought under imperial sway. But this concern with the value and fate of indigenousness was in fact a turn to the modern.
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Scotland Rising
The Case for Independence
Gerry
Pluto Press, 2022

A systematic exploration of the arguments for Scottish independence from a sympathetic angle.

The Scottish independence question is one of the pivotal questions facing British politics and the future of the United Kingdom. It is also one of the most contentious and misunderstood.

In Scotland Rising, Gerry Hassan addresses the fundamental questions covering the Scottish independence debate so that people can better understand the case for independence and the nuances, contours, and implications for the whole country. Looking beyond the merits and shortcomings of the SNP and the Conservative government in Westminster, Hassan tackles the larger driving dynamics of 'the Scottish Question' - a growing desire amongst many Scots for an explicit discussion about society, public policy choices, and wider values.

Addressing the constitutional framework, and questions about the role of government and democracy, the nature of the British state, society, and capitalism, Scotland Rising makes an urgent and intelligent contribution to one of the defining political questions of our time.

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Secret Leaves
The Novels of Walter Scott
Judith Wilt
University of Chicago Press, 1986

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Transatlantic Scots
Edited by Celeste Ray, foreword by James Hunter
University of Alabama Press, 2005
Examines the impact of the Scottish legacy on North American cultures and heritage
 
During the past four decades, growing interest in North Americans' cultural and ancestral ties to Scotland has produced hundreds of new Scottish clan and heritage societies.  Well over 300 Scottish Highland games and gatherings annually take place across the U.S. and Canada. 

Transatlantic Scots is a multidisciplinary collection that studies the regional organization and varied expressions of the Scottish Heritage movement in the Canadian Maritimes, the Great Lakes, New England, and the American South. From diverse perspectives, authorities in their fields consider the modeling of a Scottish identity that distances heritage celebrants from prevalent visions of whiteness. Considering both hyphenated Scots who celebrate centuries-old transmission of Scottish traditions and those for whom claiming or re-claiming a Scottish identity is recent and voluntary, this book also examines how diaspora themes and Highland imagery repeatedly surface in regional public celebrations and how traditions are continually reinvented through the accumulation of myths. The underlying theoretical message is that ethnicity and heritage survive because of the flexibility of history and tradition. 

This work is a lasting contribution to the study of ethnicity and identity, the renegotiation of history and cultural memory into heritage, and the public performance and creation of tradition.

 
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A True Account of My Life and Selected Meditations
Lady Anne Halkett
Iter Press, 2022
The autobiographical narrative of Anne, Lady Halkett.

Born in the early 1620s, Anne, Lady Halkett (née Murray) grew up on the fringes of the English court during a period of increasing political tension. From 1644 to 1699, Halkett recorded her personal and political experiences in both England and Scotland in a series of manuscript meditations and an autobiographical narrative called A True Account of My Life. Royalism, romance, and contemporary religious debates are central to Halkett’s vivid portrayal of her life as a single woman, wife, mother, and widow. Collectively, the materials edited here offer the opportunity to explore how Halkett’s meditational practice informed her life writing in the only version of her writings to date available in a fully modernized edition. The forty-four meditations in this volume redefine the importance of Halkett’s contribution to seventeenth-century life writing.  
 
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