This book reassesses the Scottish Enlightenment philosopher, Adam Ferguson. Moving beyond his early Essay on the History of Civil Society (1767), the essays explore his work as a teacher of moral philosophy, his politics in an Age of Revolution, and his historical account of the Roman Republic.Book Details
Thomas Paine is rightly regarded as among the most influential of English political iconoclasts. His two best-known works – Common Sense (1776) and Rights of Man (1791) – ensured his remarkable success in positioning himself, both literally and literarily, at the forefront of both the American and French revolutions. It is no exaggeration that Paine’s works lie at the heart of popular revolutionary sentiment as it came to express itself in the later eighteenth century. For that reason they were regarded at one level as manifestos of the crying need for social and political change, but at the same time by government and the law as dangerous instruments of sedition and republicanism.
In this new title from Aberdeen University Press, Dr Ronald Crawford explores how, in both Scotland and America, Paine’s brand of radicalism took particular hold, though only for a limited period – the ‘Age of Paine’.
Part One of the book explores American themes discoverable in the works of Francis Hutcheson, David Hume, Adam Smith and Adam Ferguson; the explosive political impact within Scotland of Rights of Man (1776); and how Scottish precedents, through the writings of Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, helped shape the educational system of the early United States.
Part Two examines the careers of four Scots emigrants who made distinguished contributions to the American ideal of liberty: the ‘bookman’ Robert Aitken who employed Paine as contributing editor of his Pennsylvania Magazine; John Witherspoon, President of the College of New Jersey, one of the signatories to the Declaration of Independence in 1776; the radical poet, Alexander Wilson, whose (very different) Scottish and American careers are re-examined with the help of newly found original sources; and the lawyer from Fife, James Wilson, another signer, whose remarkable contributions to the evolution of the US Constitution are considered from the point of view of his indebtedness to numerous Scottish sources.Book Details
Wounded in battle, ringleader of an officers’ mutiny, survivor of a mauling by a tiger, candidate in a Parliamentary by-election – Patrick ‘Tiger’ Duff (1742–1803) had an eventful life. The son of a Speyside tenant farmer, he rose to the rank of General in the East India Company army and retired to a country estate near Turriff. He made a fortune in India, in part because of his family connections with the Gordons of Letterfourie. James and Alexander Gordon were successful wine merchants in Madeira. They not only provided for Patrick’s education, but also employed his brothers James and Robert in the wine trade. In turn, Patrick was able to win business for the partnership amongst the hard-drinking British in India.
Scottish merchants, such as the Gordons, were an important part of the British merchant community in Madeira. Wealth from both sources, the empire of conquest in India and the empire of commerce exemplified by Madeira, flowed back into Scotland and fuelled the process of agricultural improvement.Book Details
For almost three hundred years, when Catholicism was illegal in Scotland, southern Germany was host to communities of Scottish Benedictine monks. From the Reformation onwards Scots went to monasteries run by their own countrymen in Bavaria, Franconia and Thuringia in order to take up life in a religious order.
Throughout their stay in the lands of the Holy Roman Emperor the concern of these Scots Benedictines was to support and engage in the missionary activities of the Catholic Church in Scotland. Almost inevitably, however, they became involved in German political life in part through being active participants in their hosts’ counter-Reformation.
They became witnesses to and minor participants in a number of major cataclysmic events including the Thirty Years’ War, the War of Austrian Succession, the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars all of which threatened their continued existence. However, their survival and prosperity came to depend on the strong networks of support developed by Scots at home and in continental Europe.
From the late seventeenth through to the nineteenth century the monasteries were able to engage energetically in the provision of education not only for their fellow Scots but for their German hosts. Efforts in this regard led to their making significant contributions to the wider European Enlightenment movement – a fact that has long been known in Germany although almost unrecognised elsewhere.
A Saltire in the German Lands is an attempt to bring their achievements to the wider audience they deserve.Book Details
Scotland’s Forgotten Treasure is a detailed study of the aesthetics and the religious vision of the fantasy works written by nineteenth-century Scottish novelist, George MacDonald. MacDonald’s Phantastes (1858) and Lilith (1895) are the origin of much modern fantasy writing, and Colin Manlove brings to bear on MacDonald’s major achievements decades of study in fantasy literature to unlock the structures that govern MacDonald’s imagination and the relevance of his works to contemporary religious and scientific thought.
Manlove reveals in MacDonald’s works a depth and complexity that establishes them as among the the most original works of nineteenth-century literature, and a treasure that should be the centrepiece of any account of nineteenth-century Scottish fiction.Book Details
Professor Robert Frost writes: the sixth and final volume of The Diary of General Patrick Gordon of Auchleuchries is in some ways the most significant of all. It covers the vital period in which Peter the Great launched his challenge to the traditional Russian system and set Russia on the path to great power status. Gordon played a central role in two of the great dramas of these years: the successful siege and defence of Azov, which firmly established Russian power on the Caspian Sea, and the crushing of the Revolt of the Streltsy, the most dangerous early challenge to Peter’s reforms. Gordon’s diary gives unparalleled insight into these dramatic events and adds much to our knowledge of one of the most significant and charismatic rulers in Russian history. Gordon tells the story with characteristic detachment and a wealthof detail. As a diarist he ranks with Samuel Pepys, and the publication of Volume VI marks the completion of a project for which Dmitry Fedosov and Paul Dukes deserve to be congratulated. After three centuries, the original text of a hugely important historical work, and what can also be seen to be a significant literary achievement, is fully available for the first time.Book Details
Herbert Grierson was only 28 when he was appointed Professor of English Literature at the University of Aberdeen in 1895; in the following quarter of a century he established himself as the most distinguished literary critic of his time: first, by the publication in 1912 of his edition of the poetry of the then little acknowledged seventeenth-century English poet John Donne, and subsequently by his influential anthology of The Metaphysical Poets, published in 1919. Because of Grierson, Donne became the most admired poet of some of the twentieth-century’s most influential poets, and the ‘Metaphysicals’ became the model for many of the most radical developments in twentieth-century poetry.Book Details
John Witherspoon (1723 – 1794) is remembered today as one of only two Scots among the 56 ‘signers’ of the Declaration of American Independence and the only clergyman to have added his name to the list of founding fathers of the nation that was set to become the United States. On that basis alone, Witherspoon earns his place as an important figure in the early history of the ‘Empire of Liberty’ – even though he has been described by some American scholars as the ‘forgotten Founder.’
But Witherspoon had two careers. His American career (as College President at Princeton and an influential politician in the revolutionary and immediate post-revolutionary war period) has understandably tended to overshadow his earlier career in Scotland as a leading light within the Popular (or Evangelical) party in the Church of Scotland at a time when the Kirk was dominated by the Moderates led by such men as William Robertson, Hugh Blair and Alexander ‘Jupiter’ Carlyle. This study shows that he had few friends among the preponderance of Moderate ministerial colleagues in the Presbytery of Paisley.
The ground-breaking research underpinning this book reveals for the first time the full astonishing story of Witherspoon’s involvement in an action against him in the Court of Session in Edinburgh, a process that was begun by a lawyer, John Snodgrass, and five others in 1762 and was not determined until 1776, by which time the Paisley minister had long left Scotland for a new life as sixth President of the College of New Jersey. The process would engage the professional skills of some of the most celebrated figures in Scottish advocacy of the period, including George Wallace, Henry Dundas, David Dalrymple, Charles Hay and Andrew Crosbie.
In an important ‘Concluding Essay’ the author makes a convincing case for the Snodgrass affair having influenced Witherspoon’s decision to make a new life for himself and his family in America, demolishing the traditional view that it was somehow irrelevant to that decision.Book Details
Archibald Forbes transformed the profession of war correspondent into something recognisably modern. He was widely regarded as the greatest war correspondent of the nineteenth century and it was he, more than any other, who appreciated the public demand for immediacy and therefore the need to get reports from the front into the press as fast as possible. He transformed the fortunes of Britain’s The Daily News, covering in the 1870s the Franco-Prussian War, the Paris Commune, the Carlist Wars in Spain, the Serbian-Turkish War, the Russo-Turkish War, the occupation of Cyprus, the Afghan War, the Zulu War, the Indian Famine and the Prince of Wales’s visit to India.Book Details
Paul Dukes writes: The publication of the Diary of Patrick Gordon has by now fully established itself as an invaluable source for Russian, British and European history in the second half of the seventeenth century. Volume V, thoroughly edited like its predecessors by Dmitry Fedosov, comprises a wide range of activities on land and sea from 1690 to 1695, many of them involving the young tsar Peter. Having helped the future Peter the Great to consolidate his hold on the throne, Gordon grew closer to him in ‘large discourse’, being ‘entertained & detained all night’, and so on. On the practice battlefield, the Scottish general played a leading part realistic enough for himself to be shot in the thigh and his son-in-law to be mortally wounded. As Fedosov says, Gordon along with the tsar proceeded from the pastimes of Mars to those of Neptune in naval exercises on the White Sea. Moving south to actual combat, the Russian forces re-engaged the Crimean Khanate and Ottoman Empire in further episodes in the long struggle for the fortress of Azov. Volume V, the longest of the six, contains many letters to and from Gordon and a wide range of his observations on political developments throughout Europe.Book Details