Allan Massie

Tartan Trade

Scotland's Empire

By

Allen Lane The Penguin Press 440pp £25 order from our bookshop

THE TITLE IS a misnomer. Scotland has never had an empire. (Nor of course has England, not since 1707 anyway.) Professor Devine knows this perfectly well. I dare say the eye-catching title was foisted on him by his publishers to make clearer what the book evidently is – a companion volume to his excellent history, The Scottish Nation 1700-2000 – than a more accurate title such as ‘The Role of the Scots in the British Empire’ would have done.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • The mystery of Jack the Ripper's identity has long been agonised over. But what do we know about his victims?… ,
    • A piece of Literary Review history from way back in 1983: John Haffenden talks to the great Iris Murdoch. ,
    • Britain’s only travelling lit fest, the Garden Museum Literary Festival is heading to Houghton Hall, Norfolk, for a… ,
    • 'The 19th-century German sage is not my idea of a pleasant travel companion' goes hiking with Friedr… ,
    • If you want ideas about what to read next, sign up to our free email newsletter, and get book reviews, archive mate… ,
    • 'The heroic male nude could not, I think, be used today to signify civic pride and glory', as Michelangelo’s 'David… ,
    • 'Munch’s later works show us a man liberated from the torments that gave rise to some of the best-known early works… ,