Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Scotland No More? the Scots Who Left Scotland in the Twentieth Century

Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Scotland No More? the Scots Who Left Scotland in the Twentieth Century

Article excerpt

Marjory Harper, Scotland No More? The Scots Who Left Scotland in the Twentieth Century (Edinburgh: Luath Press, 2012), 279pp. Paper. £14.99. ISBN 978-1-9083-7335-9.

For two centuries Scots have been over-represented in many parts of the world and therefore fewer of them remain at home. Quite why this was so is a question which pervades Marjory Harper's very readable survey of twentieth-century Scottish emigration. She is a sure-footed and experienced guide to the ways and means of emigration, the panoply of bureaucratic, private, philanthropic, and governmental schemes and apparatus which conveyed so many Scots across the oceans. There are tens of thousands of emigrant stories to be told, and Harper is a very good listener - the basis of her 'experiential history'. All human life is here, from exultation to tragedy. These 'multihued' human stories form a databank of testimony, a celebration of diversity and ambiguity, with plenty of 'exilic heartache'. But anyone hoping that the emigrants can clarify their own decisions about emigration should contemplate the case of the Galashiels lady who, when asked about where she might emigrate to, replied, 'I'm no fussy, as long as it's somewhere'.

The Scottish experience of emigration was not unique but the extent of expatriation has been worryingly higher than the rest of Britain. The recurrent national anxiety about the loss ofthe best of the people, particularly from the rural areas in the Highlands, echoed the story in Ireland and much of rural Britain, which also lost people by migration. Over many decades, net emigration has siphoned off most of Scotland's natural population growth, especially its graduates. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.