Paul Johnson

Hadrian’s Wall Breached Again

The Thistle and the Rose: Six Centuries of Love and Hate between Scots and English


John Murray 336pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

Despite its subtitle, the tone of this excellent book is good-tempered and reasonable throughout. The first part is historical, the opening chapter dealing with the relations between Scotland and England up to the Reformation. Then there are chapters on Elizabeth I and Mary Queen of Scots; the ‘single monarch, two kingdoms’ system introduced when James VI of Scotland also became James I of England; the events which led up to the Union; and the ‘Marriage of Convenience’, as Massie calls it, which worked so well in the eighteenth century, though punctuated by the two Jacobite rebellions, which get a separate chapter.

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