Rome's Greatest Frontier
Extending for 73 miles and built of more than 24 million stones, Hadrian’s Wall is one of the largest and most spectacular ancient monuments in Britain. This history of the Wall presents insights drawn from ancient texts and extensive archaeological researches to explain how and why it was built, how it affected the native peoples who lived in its shadow and what life was like for the soldiers stationed in its forts.
The Story of the Border Reivers
From the 15th to the early 17th century, the Scottish borderlands were the site of almost constant conflict between England and Scotland and the Borders people suffered at the hands of marauding armies wrecking crops and livestock. They responded by reiving – raiding over the border, taking cattle and supplies to ensure their own survival. Alistair Moffat tells the stories of the reivers and their exploits, and includes a selection of their Border Ballads.
The Faded Map
Lost Kingdoms of Scotland
From around 320 BCE, when a Greek explorer named Pytheas landed on the Isle of Lewis, through Roman times and the so-called ‘Dark Ages’ to 1000 CE, Alastair Moffat enters the ‘faded map’ of the lost kingdoms of Lowland Scotland. Gleaned from fragments of written records, from place names, language and landscape, this is the story of the forgotten Old Welsh-speaking dynasties, among them the Dalriada, Bernicia and Strathclyde Welsh.
A History of the Borders from Earliest Times
Covering a vast geographical area at first – the whole of the Tweed valley and beyond to Dunglass on the Berwickshire coast, east to the Moorfoot Hills and south as far as Newcastle – and narrowing in focus as the political border between Scotland and England hardened in the Middle Ages, Alistair Moffat tells the ‘long and complicated’ history of the Borders, from earliest times to the uncertainty of the 21st century, with frequent historical, biographical and cultural asides.
Britain's DNA Journey
Our Remarkable Genetic Story
Since the retreat of the glaciers at the end of the last ice age, Britain has been repopulated entirely by immigrants. The stories of the earliest settlers were lost in millennia of prehistory, but geneticists are now able to uncover these ancient ancestors' geographical origins by analysing modern Britons' DNA. With genetic insights complementing archaeological evidence, this book forms a new people's history of the British which tracks the epic journeys of the pioneering migrants.
Who Built Scotland
In a fresh approach to Scotland’s past, five Scottish writers – Alexander McCall Smith, Alistair Moffat, James Robertson, James Crawford and the poet Kathleen Jamie – explore 25 buildings, or remains of buildings, across the country. Starting at Geldie Burn in the Cairngorms with its traces of prehistoric habitations, they visit Iona’s ancient abbey, medieval castles, and modern buildings ranging from the Glasgow School of Art to Sullom Voe oil terminal – structures whose stories together create a new narrative of Scottish history.
Images of the Scottish Borders
In addition to capturing the rolling landscapes of the border region in all seasons, and the sheep, ponies, cattle and deer that inhabit it, this collection contains picturesque views of Abbotsford, the home of Sir Walter Scott; towns such as Hawick, Galashiels and Jedburgh; and portraits of the area's isolated and romantic castles.
The 'Kingdom' of Fife boasts Scotland's oldest university and the home of golf at St Andrews as well as picturesque fishing villages, ancient monuments and a beautiful rural heartland. Liz Hanson's photographs range from views of the Forth Bridge across the estuary and the mining and manufacturing towns around Dunfermline to the world-famous golfing country of the east coast.
For Alistair Moffat Edinburgh is quite simply ‘the most beautiful city in the world’, and Liz Hanson’s photographs show how he might have come to that conclusion. Moffat, a former Director of the Edinburgh Festival, explains how geology and history made the city as he traces its history from ancient volcanoes to fringe musicians performing in the street; while Liz Hanson’s camera peers into medieval closes as well as looking out over the Firth of Forth from the city’s lofty crags.
A History from Earliest Times
The town of Hawick in the Scottish Borders is notable for its annual Common Riding, which commemorates the fight at Hornshole in 1514 when local young men scattered an English raiding party. Taking the town’s story back to prehistoric times and the coming of the Romans, Moffat traces its growth, the rise of its textile trade and the radical changes that have given modern-day Hawick its unique character.