Certeine Matters Concerning the Realme of Scotland: George Buchanan and Scottish Self-Fashioning at the Union of the Crowns

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Abstract

Although historians have long been aware of the range of printed and manuscript treatises that was prompted by the Union of 1603, little attention has been paid to a genre of printed works published in the years immediately before and after 1603 that were specifically concerned with Scotland and the Stewart lineage rather than with debating the idea of Britain. This article explores this literature in detail and uncovers the extent to which the Scottish intelligentsia turned to the writings of George Buchanan in order to describe and define both the geography of the kingdom and the autonomous origins of its kingship. Stripped of its radical politics, Buchanan's Rerum Scoticarum Historia (1582) emerged as a critical though generally unacknowledged source of reassurance for Scots fearful that the union would see their ancient kingdom assimilated into a greater English imperium and determined to secure Scotland's unique status within a new multiple British monarchy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-65
Number of pages27
JournalScottish Historical Review
Volume92
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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