Download The Scots epub
by Clifford Hanley
One popular view of the Scots, says Clifford Hanley, is that 'they are tall, rugged people who live in mountain fastnesses on a diet of oatmeal porridge and whisky, playing the deafening bagpipes'. Hanley, a leading Scottish writer and novelist, and a thorough Scot, steps back and assesses notable Scotsmen through history to today, showing them as they were, as they are seen abroad - and as some of them would like to be regarded, kilts, sporrans, warts, broad speech and all. Proud of his ancestry, he takes nevertheless a reasonably objective, certainly radical and gaff-blowing view which is well nigh as critical as that of these lesser folk who resent Scottish influence the world over. As a novelist and journalist in Glasgow all his life, who has won recognition abroad, he himself refutes Dr. Johnson's remark that 'the noblest prospect which a Scotsman sees is the highroad that leads to England, but he has the ability and sense of humour to appreciate that Scots can be traditionally pawky and guilty of snobbery and arrogance. Bonnie Prince Charlie, for example, is not one of his heroes and he has no illusions as to why so many Scots emigrated to Canada and the US last century. he does not overlook, though, their achievements in all fields of life - engineering, education, the sciences and arts. Although the Clyde is no longer the world centre of shipbuilding it is still important, and research in engineering and the sciences goes on and the arts flourish in Scotland as never before. His discussion of Scottish characters inevitably includes all manner of insights into history and customers be it Hogmanay, music, golf and (why not?) whisky drinking and distilling. This last is generally regarded today as Scotland' greatest export but, says Hanley, is not - it is still Scots. This is an endearing book, written for the pleasure and pure fun it will give to all who are conscious of having Scottish blood.
Times Books; First U.S. Edition edition (1980)
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