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Lairds and LuxuryLairds and Luxury: The Highland Gentry in Eighteenth Century Scotland. Lairds and Luxury: The Highland Gentry in Eighteenth Century Scotland. A critical account of the social, economic and cultural experience of consumption and luxury of the Highlands. It looks at all classes and various professions, finally looking closely at the Highland gentry during a period of significant change. The subject is inspired by a commonly articulated moral criticism of the gentry, that they were more luxurious and feckless than similar groups elsewhere and that their conspicuous consumption ultimately ruined the Highland economy and destroyed Highland social relationships. The book contains both male and female experiences and expectations, using an anthropological approach to uncover the social meaning of the changing material environment that the Highland gentry inhabited, their houses, their clothing and their possessions. An anthropological perspective is also applied to the knowledge practices of the Highland gentry, what they knew; the processes whereby they came to posses that knowledge through education, professional training or life-experience; and the application of that ‘knowledge’ to the creation of their culture. Stana Nenadic, a graduate of Strathclyde and Glasgow Universities, is Senior Lecturer in Social History at the University of Edinburgh. Her research has focused on the social, economic and cultural life of businessmen, professionals and the gentry in eighteenth and nineteenth century Scotland. She has published widely, was editor of Scottish Economic and Social History (journal of the Economic and Social History Society) from 1998 to 2003, and is a Commissioner of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland.


Living with the LairdLiving with the Laird: A Love Affair with a Man and His Mansion. Living with the Laird. A captivating memoir of one woman's relationship with a man and his mansion. I knew that when I married the man that I married the mansion, begins Belinda Rahtbone's captivating memoir of her relationship with a Scottish laird, and with his four hundred acre ancestral home The Guynd. But there was also much that the urban American did not know when she abandoned her life in New York to become the unlikely chatelaine of this country estate in north-east Scotland after a whirlwind affair with its eccentric owner. Finding herself in a setting reminiscent of many a classic English novel, Rathbone recounts her story of dealing with a grand but crumbling Georgian mansion still recovering from the effects of two world wars, not to mention a hopelessly overgrown garden, troublesome tenants, and an intractable class system often too dangerous to navigate. With the persistence of the biographer she delves into local history, anecdotes and family papers in her attempt to understand the small Scottish community into which she has been thrown, and with the curiosity of a outsider she imbibes the country wisdom that surrounds her, from the value of dead elm trees and the intricate working of the slow-cooking Aga to how to pluck a pheasant and what to wear to a country ball. Like a letter home from a strange land, Living With the Laird gives a unique view into the Scottish countryside of today that is both wry and poignant, combining a warm, Bill Bryson-esque view of British society with a fascinating portrait of an historic house and its many colourful inhabitants. Whether tackling her husband's habit of hoarding bottles of 30-year-old raspberry vinegar and pots of crystallised blackcurrant jam in their icy kitchen, or struggling to revive the fortunes of the rundown Georgian mansion, 'Living With the Laird' tells a larger story: a tale of what happens when two cultures and two worlds, the old and the new, collide.

A Lairdship Lost: The Mowats of Balquholly, 1309-1736. A Lairdship Lost. The Mowats of Balquholly, 1309-1736. This is an account of how a family in the North East of Scotland, dogged by misfortune, lost their land at the beginning of the 18th-century. The book is a family history, with details about travel, family interactions and money matters in relation to land and buildings, and to debt. The text also examines the family's prominence of the legal profession, the incidence of "good" Mowat marriages in attempts to repair family fortunes, and the frequency of their business ventures at home and abroad..

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