Item description for Patrick Sellar and the Highland Clearances by Eric Richards...
In April 1816 Patrick Sellar was brought to trial in Inverness for culpable homicide for his treatment of the Highlanders of Strathnaver, the most northerly part of the Scottish highlands. In the process of evicting them from their ancient lands he had allegedly burnt houses, destroyed mills and wrecked pastures. There is perhaps no more hated nor reviled individual in Highland history. This outstanding new book, however, gives a balanced assessment of the man, a vivid account of a terrible episode in Highland history, and a riveting narration of a tormented life. Richard's book is an account of Sellar's life and times: that he was ruthless, avaricious, devious and cruel is beyond question. But his letters suggest a streak of idealism: did he really believe that the displaced highlanders would be better off, better fed, educated and housed in their new homes? Have the Highlands in the end become more productive and prosperous? In the course of his fast-moving and gripping account, Eric Richards looks carefully at these vexed questions.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1.25" Width: 6.25" Height: 9.5" Weight: 1.55 lbs.
Release Date Jul 15, 2000
Publisher Edinburgh University Press
ISBN 1902930134 ISBN13 9781902930138
Availability 0 units.
More About Eric Richards
Eric Richards is professor of history at Flinders University, Australia, and a fellow at the Australian Academy of the Humanities.
Eric Richards currently resides in Adelaide. Eric Richards has an academic affiliation as follows - Flinders University INDIANA UNIV BLOOMINGTON INDIANA UNIV BLOOMINGTON.
Reviews - What do customers think about Patrick Sellar and the Highland Clearances?
Reviled and praised Patrick Sellar Oct 8, 2000
Eric Richards very readable book explores the myths and the facts of Sellar's reputation as the Sutherland factor and sheep-farmer most responsible for the Highland 'clearances' of 1810-1825. Beginning with his early days as a young lawyer in Moray, the book traces his first ventures into Sutherland and his employment by the Duchess of Sutherland to 'improve' the estate. Detailed background is given for the policies of the Estate, with engrossing detail of the people, events and activity of the period. His later life as a sheepfarmer in his own right is followed from his trial for murder (among other things), his subsequent dismissal as Factor for the Duchess, to his reputation as a wealthy and successful farmer, and the largest tenant of the Estate. This Sellar is truly an extraordinary man, not at all likable nor admirable, but tremendously intriguing. Anyone with roots in the Highlands should read this book to begin know the man behind the villiany and the 'improvements' of the Highlands.