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The Scottish Town in the Age of the Enlightenment 1740-1820
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This is a pioneering study of 18th century Scottish urbanism: dynamic but different. This heavily illustrated and innovative study is founded upon personal documents, town council minutes, legal cases, inventories, travellers' tales, plans and drawings relating to some 30 Scots burghs of the Georgian period. It establishes a distinctive history for the development of Scots burghs, their living patterns and legislative controls, and shows that the Scottish urban experience was quite different from other parts of Britain. With population expansion, and economic and social improvement, Scots of the time experienced immense change both in terms of urban behaviour and the decay of ancient privileges and restrictions. This volume shows how the Scots Georgian burgh developed to become a powerfully controlled urban community, with disturbance deliberately designed out. This is a collaborative history, melding together political, social, economic, urban and architectural histories, to achieve a comprehensive perspective on the nature of the Scottish Georgian town. Not so much a history by growth and numbers, this pioneering study of Scottish urbanization explores the type of change and the quality of result. It is heavily illustrated, the pictures being as much of the message as the text. It is a pioneering study of how Scottish urban life changed during the 18th century, to be matched against the well-covered English town. It combines social, economic, architectural and urban history in a systematic, comparative manner. This research significantly revises current historiography about the Scots urban evolution and the nature of 'British' towns.
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About the Author

Bob Harris is Lecturer in British History at the University of Oxford. Charles McKean (1946-2013) was Professor of Scottish Architectural History at the University of Dundee and the pre-eminent historian of Scottish buildings and towns.

Reviews

"As a qualitative study of the physical space, architecture and planning of the Scottish town, this book is a major landmark not just in terms of research, but as a treasure-trove for the general reader seeking a clearer understanding of how Scottish society changed during this period." -- Thomas Munck, Innes Review "The work deftly brings together social history, economic history, architectural history, and Enlightenment studies to focus upon a wealth of material - architectural drawings and town plans, contemporary paintings and sketches, maps, burgh council minutes and committee records. The result is an important and substantial contribution to Scottish, and to British, urban history and historical geography and one that deserves to be read widely for its historiographical implications as much as for its argument and level of detail...a significant achievement and a fitting tribute to McKean's eclectic scholarship." -- Charles W.J. Withers, Journal of Historical Geography "This is an outstanding work of scholarship: it revises the intellectual framework of urban history (including English urban history), and adds nuanced detail and interpretation to a number of Scottish towns which have been overlooked for far too long." -- Richard Rodger, English Historical Review "Deeply researched, cogently written, and lavishly illustrated, The Scottish Town in the Age of the Enlightenment, 1740-1820 sets a new standard for the study of provincial urbanization in the eighteenth century." -- Fredrik Albritton Jonsson, University of Chicago, Journal of Modern History "As a qualitative study of the physical space, architecture and planning of the Scottish town, this book is a major landmark not just in terms of research, but as a treasure-trove for the general reader seeking a clearer understanding of how Scottish society changed during this period." -- Thomas Munck, Innes Review "The work deftly brings together social history, economic history, architectural history, and Enlightenment studies to focus upon a wealth of material - architectural drawings and town plans, contemporary paintings and sketches, maps, burgh council minutes and committee records. The result is an important and substantial contribution to Scottish, and to British, urban history and historical geography and one that deserves to be read widely for its historiographical implications as much as for its argument and level of detail...a significant achievement and a fitting tribute to McKean's eclectic scholarship." -- Charles W.J. Withers, Journal of Historical Geography "This is an outstanding work of scholarship: it revises the intellectual framework of urban history (including English urban history), and adds nuanced detail and interpretation to a number of Scottish towns which have been overlooked for far too long." -- Richard Rodger, English Historical Review

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