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A vivid, comprehensive history of Scotland ranges from its earliest Stone Age settlers, through the influence of the many invaders--Romans, Picts, Vikings, and the English--on the country, to recent movements to promote Scottish independence from Britain, documenting the political, cultural, economic, and other forces that have shaped the nation.
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Near Stirling, Scotland, stands a memorial to the warrior William Wallace, put to death at the orders of the English king Edward I in 1305. Within that memorial stands a glass case, and inside of it stands a broadsword 1.7 meters long. Legend has it that the hero himself wielded the weapon, and so "Wallace's Sword" it is.
Magnus Magnusson, a native of Iceland who has long lived in and written about Scotland, may spoil it for some readers when he writes that Wallace's Sword probably wasn't Wallace's. To use it, Wallace would have had to have stood at least 6-foot-6 in height and to have lived two centuries later. The business of the sword is just one of the "cherished conceptions" about Scottish history that Magnusson picks apart and then, corrected and improved, restores. At other turns he considers the true identity of the legendary king Macbeth (and entertains some surprising but plausible theories about the king's alter ego); reconstructs decisive battles such as Otterburn, Flodden, and Glencoe; and looks closely at the complicated negotiations (and, many would say, treacheries) that led to the union with England of 1707. Magnusson closes with an account of modern independence movements and the recent return of some measure of national autonomy, opening a "new chapter in a nation's story, which the people of Scotland are now beginning to write."
Lucid, witty, and unafraid of controversy, Magnusson's book does a fine job of condensing a complex history, stretching out for 10 millennia, into a single volume. --Gregory McNameeAbout the Author:
Magnus Magnusson is an Icelandic national who has spent most of his life in Scotland. After studying English at Oxford, he joined the Scottish Daily Express in 1953, and The Scotsman in 1961 as Assistant Editor. Since 1967 he has been a freelance writer and broadcaster, specialising in history, archaeology and environmental affairs. He has presented many programmes on BBC TV, including Chronicle (1967--80), Mastermind (1972--97), and a 12-part series on Vikings! (1980). He has published more than 20 books.
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Book Description Atlantic Monthly Press, 2000. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. Seller Inventory # mon0000064943
Book Description Atlantic Monthly Pr, 2000. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110871137984
Book Description Atlantic Monthly Pr, 2000. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0871137984
Book Description Atlantic Monthly Pr, 2000. Hardcover. Condition: New. Brand New!. Seller Inventory # VIB0871137984