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Publication Date
20 May 2014
Paperback (also available as an eBook)
Available for Sale
Birlinn Limited
8pp b/w plates

For Freedom Alone

The Declaration of Arbroath, 1320
by Edward J Cowan - Find out more about the author


eBook also available from the iBookstore

'Makes sense of a topic menaced by the Scottish penchant for myth-making' - Sunday Herald
The Declaration of Arbroath, 6 April 1320, is one of the most remarkable documents to have been produced anywhere in medieval Europe. Quoted by many, understood by few, its historical significance has now almost been overtaken by its mythic status.

Since 1998 the US Senate has claimed that the American Declaration of Independence is modelled upon ‘the inspirational document’ of Arbroath, and 6 April is celebrated annually as a day of national significance to all Americans, especially those of Scottish descent. To date, such claims have not been the subject of scholarly investigation; this is the first book-length study to examine the origins of the Declaration and the ideas upon which it drew, while tracing the rise of its mystic status in Scotland and exploring its possible impact upon Revolutionary America.

Edward J. Cowan is a professor of Scottish History at the University of Glasgow and has written widely on the history of Viking Scotland, early modern Scottish political thought, Scottish popular culture and Scottish emigration history. He lives in Glasgow.

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