In the early 19th century, a century after the Union of 1707, Scotland was prospering through its new relationship with its larger southern neighbour, yet many of the country’s leading thinkers and writers feared this came at a cost: assimilation with England and the loss of an ancient identity. As Sir Walter Scott put it, ‘What makes Scotland Scotland is fast disappearing.’ Scotland’s leading historian Sir Tom Devine will explore the basis of these fears, how they played out and why predictions of the ‘death of Scotland’ proved groundless.
Sir Tom Devine is Sir William Fraser Professor Emeritus of Scottish History and Palaeography in the University of Edinburgh. He was knighted by HM The Queen in 2014 ‘for services to the study of Scottish history’, the first historian of Scotland to be so honoured. Last year he was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award in Historical Studies of the All Party Committee of Lords and Commons of the UK Parliament. Tom Devine is the author or editor of more that forty books. His latest, The Scottish Clearances: A History of the Dispossessed 1600 to 1900 (Allen Lane), was published to widespread acclaim by reviewers in autumn 2018.