5 Only the strong: Highland Games It has been a good day in Puster Valley. The mountain sun and healthy pints of Tyrolean beer have made the Highlanders’ faces shine. Now the hills are bathed in evening light, the bar works triple shifts, swords and pitchforks are safely tucked away. A folk band has taken to the open air stage, kilts are flying, and the dancing begins. The South Tyrolean Highland Games have been a grand success, even if who has won the competitions remains a mystery to most. Many warriors have skipped the award ceremony in order to get a bite

in Warrior dreams

6 THE MAKING OF HIGHLANDISM, 1746–1822 I To the rest of the world in the late twentieth century Scotland seems a Highland country. The land of the mountain and the flood’ adorns countless tourist posters and the familiar and distinctive symbols of Scottish identity, the kilt, tartan and bagpipes, are all of Highland origin, but this curious image is bizarre and puzzling at several levels. For one thing it hardly reflects the modern pattern of life in Scotland, as from the later eighteenth century the country had experienced such a revolutionary expansion in

in Clanship to crofters’ war

emigration as a whole with the symbolism of the highland exodus. In the 1920s the imagery of banishment was adopted by socialist and nationalist critics of urban-industrial emigration at the same time as a renewed outflow from the Hebrides – reminiscent of the mass departures of the mid-nineteenth century – reignited the smouldering debate over emigration as exile or opportunity. The debate was all the more intense in northwest Scotland not only because of the long and bitter legacy of clearance and landlord-aided emigration but

in Emigration from Scotland between the wars

2 Stowe’s sunny memories of Highland slavery Judie Newman [They], counting the natives as their slaves and their prey, disposed without scruple of them and all that they had, just as it suited their own interest or convenience, reckless of the wrongs and misery they inflicted on these simple, unresisting people . . . removed from their comfortable houses and farms in the interior.1 An almost sublime instance of the benevolent employment of superior wealth and power in shortening the struggles of advancing civilisation.2 Two descriptions of the same system: one

in Special relationships
The Lost Book Review of Norman Macrae‘s Highland Second-Sight (1909)

Bram Stoker was no stranger during his lifetime to spiritualistic endeavors or esoteric fancies. The proof of this claim lies unquestionably across his fictions, which are cratered with Gothicisms from the supernatural and mesmerism to dark atmospherics and ambiances, as well as, or especially, second sight, which is to say visions of the future or the present seen from afar. This occultic power comprises the topic of a newly discovered book review by Stoker reproduced within this article and entitled The Second Sight. This book review is significant in a few crucial ways, most especially because it is so far the only book review Stoker is known to have published, adding a new bibliographical chapter to his already diverse writing career. Of equal import, however, is the circumstance of his reviewing a work of esoterica like Norman Macrae‘s Highland Second-Sight, making this discovery in many ways a valorization of the scholarly work of Catherine Wynne and others who have treated of Stoker‘s predilection in his writings for other knowledges.

Gothic Studies
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Playing Scotsmen in mainland Europe

Twenty-first-century Scottish play-acting draws depth and energy from a European and Western tradition of dreaming Scottish dreams, and this tradition dates back to at least the late eighteenth century, to the beginnings of European Romanticism. This book explores how contemporary celebrations of Scotland build upon earlier Scottish fantasies. The Scottish dreamscape is one of several pre-modern counter-worlds which have been approached through imitation in the past. The book examines the 'Scotland' that is on the play-actors' minds. The Scottish dreamscape was formed in an eighteenth- and nineteenth-century process now best known as Highlandism. It was then that Scotland became associated with the aesthetics and supposed characteristics of its Highland periphery. The book also explores the Scottish dreamscape's spread via the channels of the British Empire and American popular culture. It identifies five key carriers which helped to disseminate the Scottish aesthetic across the world, namely epic poetry, the Highland regiments, music hall entertainment, Hollywood films, and romance novels. The book further focuses on fieldwork conducted in 2009 and 2010. It sheds some light on the different forms of Scottish play-acting, on musicians, athletes, commemorators, and historical re-enactors. The pipers and athletes do not imitate the past; they perform in what they hope are old but living Scottish traditions. Commemorators and historical re-enactors have a different aim. They seek to recreate the past in the present. Finally, the book identifies some of the main reasons for the Scottish dreamscape's special resonance in northern and western Europe.

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Highland migrants in the Scottish city

16 DIASPORA: HIGHLAND MIGRANTS IN THE SCOTTISH CITY In the winter of 1850 the Scottish press reported in full and harrowing detail the sufferings of a group of crofters and cottars from the island of Barra who had been evicted by their landlord, John Gordon of Cluny, and forced to make their way to the mainland and from there to the southern cities. They were destitute and hungry, subsisting by begging and charity in a society of strangers, and seemed to symbolise the plight of the evicted Highlander and the social catastrophe that had engulfed the crofting

in Clanship to crofters’ war
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drove so deep, was British railway preservation’s most embarrassing episode.3 This was the struggle to determine which outfit would win the right to reinstate the defunct Welsh Highland Railway’s line north from Porthmadog:4 that 25-mile-long new line lauded in that recent book. Since it brings together so many features treated more abstractly in the preceding chapter, this case study deserves our attention. And since both contending parties in this struggle, and all commentators, routinely gravitated to words like ‘strategy’ and ‘tactics,’ ‘fight’ and ‘battle

in British railway enthusiasm

armed forces. By the late twentieth century, the Scottish dreamscape had become a thoroughly global fantasy of a local culture. The Scottish dreamscape has never been a totally stable set of images but was rewritten and re-­imagined with each adaptation. And yet some central themes have recurred ever since the Highland schoolteacher James Macpherson crafted his faux-­Gaelic bard Ossian in 1760 and sparked international enthusiasm for a wild and ancient Scotland. These themes have to do with vanishing worlds, the clash of tradition and modernisation, heroic warfare

in Warrior dreams
The social transformation of the Scottish Highlands

This book charts the story of the people of the Scottish Highlands from before the '45 to the great crofters' rebellion in the 1880s - a powerful story of defeat, social dissolution, emigration, rebellion and cultural revival. The conventional and familiar division of Scotland into 'Highlands' and 'Lowlands' is a comparatively recent development. Strangely, fourteenth century chroniclers who noted differences in culture, dress, speech and social behaviour between the Highlands and the Lowlands failed to comment on clanship as a distinguishing characteristic. During the Wars of Independence against England, soldiers from the Highlands fought on the Scottish side but were not given clan affiliations. The penetration of feudal structures into the Highlands blurred the distinction between clanship and social systems elsewhere in Scotland and many of the greatest clan chiefs were feudal lords as well as tribal leaders. This can be best illustrated from the history of the Lordship of the Isles. Successive heads of the MacDonald dynasty practised primogeniture, issued feudal charters to major landowners in the lordship and employed feudal rules in marital contracts. It used to be thought that Highland clanship died on Culloden Moor in 1746 and was effectively buried by the punitive legislation imposed on Gaeldom after the final defeat of the last Jacobite rebellion. It is clear that clan society was undergoing a process of gradual and protracted decline long before the '45 and that the climax to this was reached in the decades after the failure of the rebellion.