Allan Massie

Painting the Globe Tartan

To the Ends of the Earth: Scotland’s Global Diaspora, 1750–2010


Allen Lane/The Penguin Press 416pp £25 order from our bookshop

During an early eighteenth-century war between Russia and the Ottoman Empire, the generals of the two armies came together to negotiate a truce. ‘Aye, aye, Sandy,’ said the Turkish one, ‘we’re a gey lang way frae the back o’ Bennachie’ – for the two men had been brought up on neighbouring farms in Aberdeenshire. The tale may be apocryphal, but is quite likely true, and I like to think they indulged in reminiscences of their childhood, speaking the broad Aberdeenshire Doric.

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