Cover of: The Invention of Scotland | H. R. Trevor-Roper

The Invention of Scotland

Myth and History

Published by Yale University Press .
Written in English

About the Book

The fantasy of Scotland's history: In The Invention of Scotland: Myth and History, the late historian tells how, in futile competition, with its mighty English neighbour, Scotland's official story, it's history, and even national literature (they claimed Ossian was an ancient Scottish Homer for example) is based on fiction: neither the Kilt (the 'Kjalta' was in fact worn by the Germanic Vikings, cousins of the English, and not Celts) - or the Bagpipes are Scottish.

Hugh Trevor-Roper wrote: In Scotland, it seems to me, myth has played a far more important part in history than it has in England. Indeed... the whole history of Scotland has been coloured by myth; and that myth, in Scotland, is never driven out by reality, or by reason, but lingers on until another myth has been discovered, or elaborated, to replace it.
...Three consecutive myths have successively filled the 400 years of Scottish history from the 16th century to the 20th. The political myth, the literary myth and the sartorial myth, which is with us still.
These myths, though they may explode on contact with the evidence, are nevertheless historically important. It became a part of the national honour to maintain them - at least until a new myth should be imported to drive them out.

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