978-1-86232-089-5 / 9781862320895

Contempt, Sympathy and Romance: Lowland Perceptions of the Highlands and the Clearances During the Famine Years, 1845-1885


Publisher:Tuckwell Press, Ltd.



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About the book:

Using newspaper materials circa the mid-19th century, this book shows the usefulness of these sources for the evaluation of the range of Scottish public opinion in terms of the lowland perceptions of the Highlands and the Clearances during the Famine years of 1845-1855. Newspaper files of the period during the Famine years up to the Crimean War reveal that the most popular Lowland attitude towards the Highlanders at this time was one of contempt. They frankly regarded the Gaels as an inferior and often useless race, and the battle which sympathetic journalists fought against this majority view shows clearly these journalists' disillusionment at what they saw at the time as a hopeless struggle. At the same time, there were those who saw the Highlands through rose-coloured glasses, as they increasingly became an aristocratic playground, a nature reserve for tourists and a theme for pre-Celtic-twilight poets and novelists. But be it sympathy, contempt or romance, these three strands of public opinion in the Lowlands had one thing in common, they all saw the Highlanders as essentially a different race.

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