History of Everyday Life in Scotland, 1800 to 1900

History of Everyday Life in Scotland, 1800 to 1900

History of Everyday Life in Scotland, 1800 to 1900

History of Everyday Life in Scotland, 1800 to 1900

Synopsis

The nineteenth century was a period of profound change in Scottish history. Industrialisation, improved communications, agricultural transformation, country to town migration, upheavals in the church, increased trade, and imperialism - all these affected the pace and rhythm of everyday life across the country. At the same time increased literacy helped to generate new patterns of identity, extending beyond the local to encompass the nation, which challenged certainties of how the world was viewed. With new styles of living came new dangers to the physical and moral health of the population, and increased apprehension of crime and disorder. Industrialisation created opportunities for consumption and recreation but with tangible environmental and economic costs. Rural Scotland adjusted to changes in farming practice and the traumas of population loss and began to look to the opportunities presented by recreation and tourism. The large-scale creation and survival of documentary evidence and records make the study of everyday life during this period practicable in depth for the first time. This volume presents a vivid account that includes the experiences of all the people of Scotland. It draws on every kind of available evidence and on work in social and cultural history, sociology and anthropology. The series will be complete in four volumes. x and x are already available. x is forthcoming.

Excerpt

The four books in this series examine the ordinary, routine, daily behaviour, experiences and beliefs of Scottish people from medieval times until the present day. Their focus is on the ‘common people’, that is, most of the population, the ordinary folk below the ranks of the aristocracy, substantial landowners, opulent merchants, major industrialists, bankers and financiers, even if it is true that people from relatively humble beginnings have managed periodically to haul themselves into the ranks of the nation’s social elite. Contributors in each volume describe the landscapes and living spaces that formed the familiar contexts for daily life. The events and activities that determined how individuals spent their time are explored, including the experiences of work and leisure, and ranging in duration from those that affected the passage of a single day, through those that impinged on peoples’ lives according to the calendar or the seasons and weather, to those that were commonly experienced over the course of the life-cycle. Scottish people made sense of their everyday lives, it is argued, through ritual and belief, by their interactions with others and by self-reflection.

As a whole, the series aims to provide a richer and more closely observed history of the social, economic and cultural lives of ordinary Scots than has been published previously. This is not to suggest that accounts and analyses of the everyday in Scotland have not been written. They have. And this present series of four volumes overlaps with the publication of the fourteen volumes of the Scottish Life and Society series, sponsored by the European Ethnological Research Centre in Edinburgh, led by Alexander Fenton. The first volume in this series was published in 2000, with others following at intervals through to 2008. Unlike the series of which this volume is part, which is structured by chronological periods in which selected broad themes are studied, each of the books in the Scottish Life and Society series has been organised around a particular topic, including: farming and rural life; domestic life; boats, fishing and the sea; and religion. They are substantial, multi-authored volumes, and eclectic in the range of subjects and sub-topics covered, entirely befitting the series sub-title, A Compendium of Scottish Ethnology. It represents a monumental resource for future researchers. Where appropriate, contributors to this series A History of Everyday Life in Scotland have drawn upon the Scottish Life and Society team’s findings. Rather . . .

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