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Islay was originally part of Dal Riata, the early kingdom of the Scots, but was then colonised by Scandinavian settlers in the middle of the ninth century. It was also the home of the MacDonalds who established the Lordship of the Isles during the Medieval Period. In the Gaelic world, their status was king-like and, at the height of their power in the 15th century, they mounted a challenge to the Stewart dynasty for control of Scotland. However, this book is not just about the great men. It also looks at the lesser folk, especially during the time of the Campbell lairds, from the early 17th century onwards.Archaeology combined with documentary research has helped to build up a picture of how the people of Islay lived, the way the land was farmed and the development of local industries, including the distilling of whisky. This book provides a comprehensive grounding in island history for visitors and locals alike, and, for the valuable details it gives on local families, will be particularly valued by genealogists and those tracing their roots to Islay.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781841583587
ISBN-10: 1841583588
Format: Hardback
(234mm x 156mm x mm)
Pages: 320
Imprint: Birlinn Ltd
Publisher: Birlinn General
Publish Date: 30-Oct-2008
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - David Caldwell

Dr David Caldwell is Keeper of Scotland & Europe in the National Museums of Scotland. In the 1990s he directed excavations at Finlaggan on Islay, the centre of the Lordship of the Isles. He is the author of another Birlinn publication, Islay, Jura and Colonsay: A Historical Guide (2001), which provides a gazetteer of sites and monuments to complement this book.

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