A History of Everyday Life in Scotland, 1800-1900 by Graeme Morton, Trevor Griffiths

By Graeme Morton, Trevor Griffiths

The authors discover the political, spiritual, and highbrow personality of Scottish existence, during which the extreme impinged at the usual.

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Chapter 1 Land, the Landscape and People in the Nineteenth Century Mairi Stewart and Fiona Watson INTRODUCTION Landscape is ever-changing, whether that change is dramatic like a landslip, or gradual like the meandering river; whether it is the result of natural processes or driven by human intervention. The way that the land is used by people also changes, even as part of the seasonal cycle. Take the field, for example, which ripples with barley in late summer, after which the stubble is given over to grazing in autumn and winter.

In song, in art and reading, to take the most obvious examples, religious themes abounded. They were not incompatible with less formal religious beliefs and regionally specific moral imperatives. 40 Informal religious beliefs in paganism, fairies and other unexplainable phenomena co-existed alongside biblical scripture despite the efforts of many a preacher and the secular sciences. 41 The work done on Celtic beliefs in fairies by the Tiree minister, John Gregorson Campbell (1834–91), shows the seriousness and commonality of such beliefs.

24 Estate owners and gentlemen farmers were becoming more adventurous, trying different methods of reclamation and experimenting with a variety of manures. 25 This sort of transformation is vividly captured on the first edition OS maps. Placed alongside a range of eighteenth-century town and estate plans it offers a glimpse of the physical and bio-geographical transformation of a landscape in the process of being re-shaped almost beyond recognition. On Lochtayside, for example, it is possible to compare land-use change instigated between 1769, when the Earl of Breadalbane commissioned a survey of the area, and 1861 from the OS.

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