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The links below (in the recommended reading list) will take you to various places: exerpts from the book, online purchasing, online translations, etc.
For reading: Don't forget about using Inter-Library Loan at your nearest public library. You may be able to bring the book in on loan, if your library does not have it. Quite a savings as opposed to purchasing the book, and your librarian should be able to help you with your search.
For purchasing: Be sure to check Amazon or your nearest, favorite bookstore on pricing before purchasing. You may also find that you can purchase a good, used copy of a more expensive book.
NOTE: Please remember that the conclusion about the content of published material and its accuracy is up to the reader to determine. You always have freedom of thought and mind. The conclusion you draw is "your" conclusion.
Hebridean Sea Kings: The Successors of Somerled, 1164-1316 by W. D. H. Sellar
Rebels without a Cause? The Relations of Fergus of Galloway and Somerled of Argyll with the Scottish Kings, 1151-1164 by R. Andrew McDonald
ISBN 1 898410 85 2 - paperback - 2nd reprint 2002
This important study explores the history of the western seaboard of Scotland (the Hebrides, Argyll and the Isle of Man) in a formative but, until now, neglected era: the central middle ages, from the mighty Somerled to his descendant, John MacDonald, the first Lord of the Isles (C.1336).
Drawing on a variety of sources, this very readable narrative deals with three major and closely interrelated themes: first, the existence of the Isles and coastal mainland as a kingdom from C.1100 to 1266; second, the rulers of the region, Somerled and his descendants, the MacDougalls, MacDonalds, and MacRuairis; and third, the often complex relations among the Isles, Scotland, Norway and England.
While political history predominates, the changing nature of society in the Isles is emphasised throughout, and separate chapters address the church and monasticism as well as the monuments of the western seaboard - the castles, monasteries, churches and chapels that form an enduring legacy of the Kingdom of the Isles.
A fully rounded history emerges, and it is one that transcends national viewpoints. No such study has been published for at least fifty years.
The history of the so-called Canmore kings in Scotland, from the reign of Malcolm lll (1058-93) down to that of Alexander lll (1249-86), is marked by an array of insurrections led by discontented dynasts and native warlords with grievances against these kings. Although none of the challenges ultimately proved successful, they nevertheless form a much-neglected theme across a formative era of Scottish history, which they in part define. This book, the first on its subject, demonstrates that the Canmore kings maintained their grip on power in large measure through crushing rivals and quashing numerous insurrections; their claim to be the founders of the medieval kingdom is valid, but the roles of violence and military confrontations in the consolidation of their power and the formation of the medieval kingdom are given new emphasis here.
From well-known events like the invasion of Somerled of Argyll in 1164 to lesser-known challenges like that from Donald MacWillliam in the 1180s, the book offers a systematic exploration of the leaders of insurrection, their aims and motivations, their military capabilities, and the reasons behind their failure as well as the overall impact of insurrection upon the Scottish kingdom.
R. Andrew McDonald is Assistant Professor of History at Brock University in St Catharines, Ontario, Canada. He is the author of The Kingdom of the Isles: Scotland’s Western Seaboard c. 1100-c.1336 and co-editor of Alba: Celtic Scotland in the Middle Ages, both published by Tuckwell Press.
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Last Update of Site: 25-May-2006
Site first uploaded January 1999
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