1st Edition

Crime in Scotland 1660-1960
The Violent North?

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after March 31, 2021
ISBN 9780367483579
March 31, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
348 Pages 111 B/W Illustrations

USD $49.95

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Book Description

Scotland has often been regarded throughout history as "the violent north", but how true is this statement? Does Scotland deserve to be defined thus, and upon what foundations is this definition based? This book examines the history of crime in Scotland, questioning the labelling of Scotland as home to a violent culture and examining changes in violent behaviour over time, the role of religion on violence, how gender impacted on violence and how the level of Scottish violence fares when compared to incidents of violence throughout the rest of the UK.

This book offers a ground-breaking contribution to the historiography of Scottish crime. Not only does the piece illuminate for the first time, the nature and incidence of Scottish criminality over the course of some three hundred years, but it also employs a more integrated analysis of gender than has hitherto been evident. This book sheds light on whether the stereotypical label given to Scotland as 'the violent north' is appropriate or in any way accurate, and it further contributes to our understanding of not only Scottish society, but of the history of crime and punishment in the British Isles and beyond.

Table of Contents

The Violent North - Fact or Fiction: Introduction and Context

1. The Violent North? Fatal Violence, 1660-1960

2. The Violent North? Sexual Violence, 1660-1960

3. The Violent North? Violent Assault: Public and Private, 1660-1960

4. The Violent North? Communal Violence, 1660-1960

5. The Violent North? Violence for Gain, 1660-1960

6. The Violent North or The Enterprising Scot, 1660-1960?

The Violent North: Conclusion



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Anne-Marie Kilday is Professor of Criminal History and Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean at Oxford Brookes University, UK


"Are the Scots violent? This fascinating study explores Scottish identities using a rich mix of historical court records, parliamentary papers, and contemporary newspapers. The book gets behind cultural representations to explore the reality of life, crime, and violence. It will be a great addition to our understandings of Scotland and its long and rich history."

- Professor Barry Godfrey, University of Liverpool

"Professor Kilday's book is a landmark study. Based on an impressive array of original sources, it is the first to examine Scottish criminality in such depth and range over three centuries of time.In the process, myths are punctured and orthodoxies undermined - a seminal volume by any standards."

- Professor Emeritus Sir Tom Devine HonMRIA FRSE FBA, The University of Edinburgh

"This important book advances our understanding of the prosecution and punishment of violent crime, by providing a much needed long-term perspective on the ways in which crimes such as assault, sexual violence, communal violence and homicide, have been dealt with. In addition, Kilday’s study makes a significant contribution to our knowledge of crime and criminal justice in Scotland."

- Professor Heather Shore, School of Cultural Studies & Humanities, Leeds Beckett University

"Was Scotland a violent nation? Based on an unprecedented longitudinal analysis of court records over three centuries, this study combines quantitative data with detailed case studies to challenge existing stereotypes and present a nuanced account of the nature and extent of violent crime in Scotland’s past."

- Professor Robert Shoemaker, Department of History, The University of Sheffield