From Chiefs to Landlords: Social and Economic Change in the Western Highlands and Islands,: c.1493-1820

This new approach to Highland history before the Clearances draws attention to little-studied yet important economic and social processes within the Highland clan system and argues that we should consider the problems of traditional Highland society, economy and environment together. Exploring how the different aspects of the clan system - chiefs and kinsmen, landlords and tenants, farming systems, production strategies and marketing - changed between the 16th-18th centuries, it shows how the character and ideology of clans and chiefdoms are inextricably part of the twin problems of socio-political control and food production. Shifting the emphasis away from depictions of Highland society as lawless and disorganised, this is a welcome antidote to the many romanticised views of pre-Clearance society. Prize Winner! Honorable Mention - Frank Watson Scottish History Prize 1999