Adventurers And Exiles: The Great Scottish Exodus

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9781861973047: Adventurers And Exiles: The Great Scottish Exodus
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'The Scots have always been a restless people', says leading Scottish historian Marjory Harper 'but in the nineteenth century their restlessness exploded into a sustained surge of emigration that carried Scotland almost to the top of a European league table of emigrant exporting countries.' This is the first book to provide a comprehensive account of that 'Great Exodus'. In many ways it challenges the popular belief that the Scottish Diaspora were reluctant exiles. There were indeed those who went unwillingly through clearance, kidnapping or banishment. Orphans, and (frequently against their parents' wishes) children of destitute parents were exported into domestic service by well-meaning institutions. But there were also adventurers, many with fortunes to invest, who went full of hope - and many who left as a response to famine or destitution did so willingly, in the belief that they would improve their lot. There were temporary emigrants too, off for a season's railroad building or a stretch in the East India Company. ow were these people recruited? Where did they embark from, what was the voyage out like? Where did they go? And what happened when they got there? From the Highlands, Lowlands and islands to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Caribbean, Ceylon and India, Harper brings alive the experience of the Scottish emigrant. rawing and quoting from a vast range of contemporary letters, diaries, newspapers and magazines (some examples are attached), this rich, immensely detailed and hugely rewarding book tells the stories of emigrants from diverse backgrounds as well as looking at the wider context of restless mobility that has taken Scots to England and Europe from the middle ages on.

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About the Author:

Marjory Harper is Senior Lecturer in History at the Research Institute of Scottish and Irish Studies at Aberdeen University

Review:

'Enjoyable and richly illustrated' - Niall Ferguson, Sunday Times 'A very brave book which debunks many of the myths on which Scottish martyrdom is based ... The research alone makes this book hugely impressive ... A very entertaining book and a sobering one' - Gerard DeGroot, Scotland on Sunday 'A serious and informative book, packed with detail ... drawing on a wide range of sources, and enlivened with apt quotations and anecdotes' - Allan Massie, Literary Review 'The Scots were among the world's great emigrant nations with a huge impact on the USA, Canada, Asia, Australasia and elsewhere, yet effective studies of the Scottish diaspora are still few and far between. So I welcome Marjory Harper's important and stimulating overview' - T. M. Devine, author of the best-selling The Scottish Nation; A History 1700 - 2000

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