In this book, Magnus Magnusson provides a timely and vivid look at Scotland's long and difficult road to nationhood, re-exploring some cherished myths and unearthing a wealth of fascinating new detail. He takes the reader through Scotland's history from the earliest Mesolithic settlers on the island of Rum to the establishment of the new Scottish parliament in 1999. In investigating the many questions raised by the nation's turbulent and often poignant past, he gives full weight to the "people's history" of Scotland - the living treasure of local legends and tradition which he believes has as much resonance as academic analysis.
Where did the "Scots" come from? To what extent was Scotland shaped by the viking raids and settlements? What happened to the Picts? What is the truth about such historical figures as Macbeth, ever cast as the prototype villain of Scottish monarchy, and William Wallace, made known to a worldwide audience by the film 'Braveheart'? Was Robert Bruce really inspired by a spider spinning its web in a cave? What was the significance of the tragic reign of Mary Queen of Scots? Who were the Covenanters? What really lay behind the Massacre of Glencoe in 1692? What were the long-term effects of the 1707 Treaty of Union with England? What was the impact of Jacobitism, the '45 Rising in support of "Bonnie Prince Charlie" and its brutal defeat at Culloden?
Taking account of the latest research, and incorporating the findings of many leading modern historians, the book casts the nation's history in fascinating and often surprising new light. It is essential reading for anyone with an interest in Scotland at this pivotal moment in its history.