The Making of a Scottish Landscape explores the making of the Moray countryside - and offers an intimate portrait of people in the landscape on the distant shoulder of northeast Scotland. A Regular Revolution traces the progress through Moray of the craze for Improvement that swept through Scotland during the later eighteenth century. Moray's landowners applied Enlightenment rationalism to agricultural practice and the rural environment.
The countryside was redesigned: from the fertile farmland of the coastal Laich of Moray, to the rugged highland whisky country of Strathavon and Strathspey. Lochs were drained and bogs reclaimed. Fieldscapes were replanned. New crops were sown and new farming traditions took root. Naked moorland was clothed with forestry, or colonised by doughty settlers.
Meanwhile, a Great Rebuilding regularised built environments to a neoclassical template, establishing new vernacular styles and a revolution in domestic comfort and convenience. Moray's landhungry husbandmen were willing recruits to their lairds' regular revolution; and even among landless cottars - displaced from traditional townships, transplanted to new villages, and proletarianised as agricultural labourers - there was scarcely a murmur of dissent.
John R. Barrett is a professional archivist, occasional archaeologist, historian, walker and cyclist who now lives scenically, with two cats, on Speyside in northeast Scotland. He has published original research into local history, Scottish history, archaeology, archive sources and historic landscapes. His study of the Civil War in Scotland, Elgin's Love-gift, and an edition of the memoirs of a seventeenth-century controversialist, Mr James Allan, inspired a historical novel Broken Sword. He has also written (pre)historical fiction for younger readers. Academic research, for a Ph D at Aberdeen University, forms the basis for A Regular Revolution.
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
Illustrations: 35 colour photographs