From an Antique Land: Visual Representations of the Highlands and Islands 1700-1880 (BOK)
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This book looks at visual images as an alternative and undervalued source of evidence for ideas about the Scottish Gaidhealtachd in the period 1700 - 1880. Illustrated with 100 plates, it brings together many little known and previously unrelated images. Addressing the textual bias inherent in Scottish historical studies, the book examines a broad range of maps, plans, paintings, drawings, sketches and printed images, arguing that the concept of antiquity was the single most powerful influence driving the visual representation of the Highlands and Islands from 1700 to 1880, and indeed beyond. Successive chapters look at archaeological, ethnological and geological motives for visualising the Highlands, and at the bias in favour of antiquity which resulted from the spread of these intellectual influences into the fine arts. The book concludes that the shadow of time which hallmarked visual representations of the region resulted in a preservationist mentality which has had powerful repercussions for approaches to Highland issues down to the present day. The book will appeal to historians, art historians, cultural geographers, and the general reader interested in Highland history and culture.