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Thread: Sunday night and the History of Scotland

  1. #1
    Camellia's Avatar
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    Sunday night and the History of Scotland

    What is it about Scottish accents and Scottish men? I've just had a very relaxing Sunday night having dinner and watching part 1 (a repeat) of Neil Oliver's History of Scotland (sigh, Neil Oliver). I've learnt about the Gaels, the Picts, the Britons and the Vikings; about Donald and Constantine and Dundurn; and about the Battle of Brunanburh. And - guess what? - tomorrow is a public holiday! I can recommend this show for the history and for the beautiful cinematography. I really want to visit Scotland.

    This photo sums up my Sunday evening. Give me the Scots any day!

    Sunday night and the History of Scotland

    R

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Sunday night and the History of Scotland

    Bin 138. Very nice. That comes in at about 12 GBP (? 19 Australian Dollars) over here. How much do you pay for it there? Bit too 'big' for my palate, but a very well made wine.

    Neil Oliver's certainly got a populist appeal. But Tom Devine, one of the most respected historians of Scotland currently alive and working in Scotland has absolutely blasted Oliver for his sketchy and, at times, inaccurate portrayal of Scottish History. Indeed, what emerged was that Oliver (who is not even a historian - he's an archeologist) was really delivering a script that had been written by others. But for all that, yes the programme it does give a sense of where I came from (100% Celt).

    It was a real spat when the programme first came out, with Devine & Oliver exchanged pretty powerful comments in the letters pages of one our national newspapers.

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    Camellia's Avatar
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    Re: Sunday night and the History of Scotland

    Hi Donald

    A bit big for your palate? I'm surprised. For me this blend is perfect. Have you tried any Australian Shiraz or Cab Sav? You can get some very big wines there. The 2006 Bin 138 is retailing for about $30 here at the moment. James can't remember how much he paid for it but he bought as a new release - he thinks maybe high teens to low twenties. I really like Pinot Noir - the Mornington Penninsula in Victoria produces some great Pinots.

    What sort of reds do you drink? We use the generic terms for our wines because of the restrictions on the use of names these days. You'll have to 'convert' the French names to the grape variety for me to understand.

    I'll look up Tom Devine. I'm fascinated by the history of Britain, Ireland and Scotland. I'm a real romantic for history - love the battles and the blood and gore. Simon Schama's History of Britain is another favourite. It's obviously my heritage calling me back home (how soppy is that?). If you could meet me in person, you'd realise that I'm cool on the outside but a softy on the inside. I have a t-shirt that says Strong Silent Type. Yes, I'm quiet but I'm a wimp - I just pretend to be tough.

    R

  4. #4

    Re: Sunday night and the History of Scotland

    Raylee

    If you get chance try to see Neil Oliver's "A History of Ancient Britain". I am all for popular histories. If it brings history to the masses I am all for it. I think one of the problems with trying to present Scots history is that there is much disagreement even over the written word. English and Scots histories of Scotland inevitably become tainted with bias from strong politico-religious strife. Not two subjects know for their contribution to truth. It is true of any country but I think Scotland and Ireland are particularly prone.

    Shama's history was good one once you get past his delivery. I have found the 3 volumes that accompanied the series far more enjoyable. Well worth a read if you have 25 a volume to spare. Shama's Landscape and Memory with pivotal for me in trying to make sense of who we are and how we leave out imprint on landcapes. It can be heavy going at times and a little too 'clever' if you do not remember Shama's character.

    But I must say the best modern histories I have read recently are A N Wilsons "Victorians" and "After the Victorians". Sumptuously indulgent and heavily reliant on seeing history through artists and writers. I have read both volumes 3 times. Well 2 and a half. I am on After the Victorians for the 3rd time as we speak. It is a wonderfully refreshing view of recent histories and it has a lot in common with my own often un-comprehendible view of the world. It has the added benefit of introducing the reader to works that he or she may have easily passed on the library shelf.

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    Re: Sunday night and the History of Scotland

    I hope that this video history becomes available in the U.S.... I have just, through DNA testing found that I have a glorious Scot ancestry through Alexander IRVINE 10th Laird of Drum and his wife Magdalene SCRYMGEOUR who lived in Scotland around 1600. My ancestors include David I, David BRUCE and the STEWART line of Scottish kings and a very interesting guy, James "BLACK" DOUGLAS. One of my ancestors was Standard Bearer to William "Braveheart" Wallace at the battle of Falkirk and there were few battles of yore in which my ancestors did not take part and often die.

    I have always known that I had a bit of Scots blood coursing through my veins and began to suspect that my ancestry included Alexander and Magdalene SCRYMGEOUR IRVINE. However, it was not until recently that one of my known male cousins participated in DNA testing ( through www.erwinbagpiper.com ) confirming lineage back to Alexander X and Magdalene. Since most of my Scots heritage comes through my paternal grandmother, I was not eligible for that testing which is only through male lines.

    That grandmother also had people who emigrated from Ireland to Virginia about 1638 as well as a multitude of Cherokee chiefs, war women, and warriors as ancestors.

    It is really interesting that my paternal grandmother who was a poor scratch dirt farmer in Texas and Oklahoma, has such interesting family history.

    BTW: I am also very tenuously related to the present Royal Family but, I don't think cousin Elizabeth has any plans to invite me to cousin William's upcoming marriage.

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    mythlady's Avatar
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    Re: Sunday night and the History of Scotland

    Richard, I'm now going to feel that I have to curtsy in your presence . . . I'd love to do one of those DNA things, but I'm sure I'll find not a drop (a wee drappie?) of Scots in my background. Shame on them for not inviting you to the wedding.

    Lovely picture, Raylee -- captures the mood of the evening. I hope that program comes to the US too -- maybe we can find it on our BBC cable channel. I love Simon Schama -- Steve, I was just blown away by Landscape and Memory. I have his book on the French Revolution in my stack but haven't cracked it yet. I just finished listening to The Adventure of English by Melvin Bragg, which is a history of the English language that includes a lot of, well, history. Very fascinating.

  7. #7

    Re: Sunday night and the History of Scotland

    That's a fun photo, Raylee, and sounds like a wonderful evening! You know, I think that we'd already figured out that you're really a romantic marshmallow beneath that beautiful, poised exterior.

    It's, also, very fun to read this discussion. After Tom's Grandfather died, this past January, he went on a search to discover the family history. I think that he was hoping for an archbishop or two. Instead, he found out that his family were, through the centuries, ruffian troublemakers. Not quite Scottish, not quite British. Sent to Ireland and not very appreciated there. Somehow, the king thought that he could take care of rewarding them (for what, I'm not sure) and getting rid of them in one throw of the dice and gave them land in the New World, where, they promptly betrayed him and ran off with Ethan Allen and became "Green Mountain men". Oh, and there's something about a famous spur. Hooligans!

    My own father's family were just nice, sweet Vikings....

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Sunday night and the History of Scotland

    Quote Originally Posted by Camellia View Post
    A bit big for your palate? I'm surprised. For me this blend is perfect. Have you tried any Australian Shiraz or Cab Sav?
    I'm afraid I'm a Francophile when it comes to wine. I've tried a lot of Australian stuff and whilst the best are very, very good (and Penfolds sits in that bracket) the big fruit-bomb stuff that was spawned by Robert Parker's tastebuds is not to my liking.

    I recently attended a tasting of the St Hallett's (Barossa Valley) range and it was very impressive. The good thing, I think, is that Australia is now starting to go in a new direction where the importance of terroir is starting to be recognised and achieving subtlety that expresses location is being seen as important.

    In terms of variatals - my preferences are for Burgundy (Pinot Noir) and Beaujolais (Gamay). In terms of blends, it's the Southern Rhone for me.

    As for Richard and his lineage - Afraid my lot were crofters from the Isle of Skye.
    Last edited by Donald; 13th March 2011 at 10:15 PM.

  9. #9
    Camellia's Avatar
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    Re: Sunday night and the History of Scotland

    Thanks everyone - some useful tips here for books to search out.

    I did find a radio interview of Tom Devine talking about the Scottish diaspora. He said that genealogy is the second most popular subject on the internet. Porn is the first (no prizes for that one). I tend to dip into my family history every so often. I find it really interesting. I'm an Anglo-Celt through and through.

    Any other reading suggestions?

    R

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    Re: Sunday night and the History of Scotland

    I have no reading suggestions to add - but our TV was indeed tuned to the very same thing last night...perhaps we need to bring a copy of the TV schedule tucked into a book instead of a flower when we meet for down under coffee club - we could recognise each other by our choices of what we've highlighted to watch

  11. #11

    Re: Sunday night and the History of Scotland

    Quote Originally Posted by wilgk View Post
    I have no reading suggestions to add - but our TV was indeed tuned to the very same thing last night...perhaps we need to bring a copy of the TV schedule tucked into a book instead of a flower when we meet for down under coffee club - we could recognise each other by our choices of what we've highlighted to watch
    Oh, Kay! Life is so flat, boring and disjointed without your practical logic! (In other words, you're so funny!)

  12. #12
    Camellia's Avatar
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    Re: Sunday night and the History of Scotland

    Quote Originally Posted by wilgk View Post
    I have no reading suggestions to add - but our TV was indeed tuned to the very same thing last night...perhaps we need to bring a copy of the TV schedule tucked into a book instead of a flower when we meet for down under coffee club - we could recognise each other by our choices of what we've highlighted to watch
    So what are watching tonight Kay? Q&A?

  13. #13
    wilgk's Avatar
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    Re: Sunday night and the History of Scotland

    That might be past my bedtime a wee dose of Man vs Wild might be on the menu though

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