THE INTELLIGENT TRAVELLER'S GUIDE TO HISTORIC SCOTLAND by Philip A. Crowl

THE INTELLIGENT TRAVELLER'S GUIDE TO HISTORIC SCOTLAND

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An altogether inviting introduction to Scotland's many charms. Author of a companion volume, The Intelligent Traveller's Guide to Historic Britain (1983), Crowl divides his text into two parts. The first offers a chronological account of the kingdom's turbulent past, from the Ice Age through the close of WW II. Crowl's elegant narrative emphasizes ""visible and visitable"" remains, with the names of significant sites printed in boldface followed by a page reference to the second section. Part two is a gazetteer in which the locales cited in the narrative his. tory are given detailed listings that appraise historical interest, accessibility, amenities, and related matters--on a geographical basis, again with cross references. Crowl divides Scotland into seven regions, starting with the southwestern comer (Wigtownshire) and ending with the Shetland Islands of the far North. For the most part, he identifies counties by the names used before 1973, when Parliament's Local Government Act created a host of new administrative units (to which neither the Scots nor the Post Office have paid the slightest heed). Crowl's version of Scotland's auld lang syne is marked by donnish wit and an abhorrence of inaccuracy. He observes, for example, that the storied dialogue in Lowland Scots between Robert I (The Bruce) and his knights after the 1306 murder of John Comyn was probably apocryphal, if for no other reason than the likelihood that they conversed in Norman French. At 768 pages, Crowl's guide may prove a burdensome vade mecum for other than armchair wayfarers. In this case, though, the content earns the ultimate accolade: Don't leave home without it.

Pub Date: July 1st, 1986
Publisher: Congdon & Weed/Contemporary Books