A History Book for Scots: Selections from Scotichronicon

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Mercat Press, 1998 - History - 306 pages
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Writing on a small island in the Firth of Forth in the 1440s, Walter Bower set out to tell the whole story of the Scottish nation in a single huge book, the Scotichronicon—'a history book for Scots'. It begins with the mythical voyage of Scota, the Pharaoh's daughter, from Egypt with the Stone of Destiny. The land that her sons discovered in the Western Ocean was named after her: Scotland. It goes on to describe the turbulent events that followed, among them the wars of the Scots and the Picts (begun by a quarrel over a dog); the poisoning of King Fergus by his wife; Macbeth's usurpation and uneasy reign; the good deeds of Margaret, queen and saint; Bruce's murder of the Red Comyn; the founding of Scotland's first university at St Andrews; the 'Burnt Candlemas'; and the endless troubles between Scotland and England. Weaving in and out of the events of Bower's factual history, like a wonderful pageant, are other subjects that fascinated him: harrowing visions of hell and purgatory, extraordinary miracles; the exploits of knights and beggars, merchants and monks; the ravages of flood and fire; the terrors of the plague; and the answers to such puzzling questions as what makes a good king, and why Englishmen have tails. In 1998 Donald Watt and his team of scholars completed the first modern edition and translation of Scotichronicon in nine volumes. It has been described as 'a massive achievement for Scottish cultural history' (Sally Mapstone) and 'an open invitation to join a voyage of discovery' (Books in Scotland). This selection from the whole of Scotichronicon puts Bower's epic of Scotland into the hands of the general reader. It is a marvellous and unforgettable story. Perhaps its importance is best summed up by Bower himself, who wrote at the end of it: Non Scotus est Christe cui liber non placet iste—Christ! He is not a Scot who is not pleased with this book! A History Book for Scots is selected from the complete edition of Scotichronicon by Walther Bower, edited by D.E.R. Watt and a team of scholars, in nine volumes.

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User Review  - herschelian - LibraryThing

The Scotichronicon was written by Walter Bower in 1440 AD. It was his attempt to tell the whole history of Scotland and its people in one single book. Starting with the legendary voyage of Scota, the ... Read full review

Contents

The origins of the Picts
9
St Columba and St Kentigern
22
The church at Abernethy
37
Copyright

24 other sections not shown

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About the author (1998)

Walter Bower was born in Haddington, Scotland in 1385. He wrote A History Book for Scots and Scotichronicon. He had occupations including author, religious leader, historian and abbot. He died in December 1449 at the age of 64 years old. Donald Watt is an Aberdonian who has taught for many years in the University of St Andrews, where he is now Emeritus Professor of Scottish Church History in the Department of Medieval History.

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