You are in:  Home - History - Glory and Honour: The Renaissance in Scotland

Publication Date
07 November 2013
Available for Sale
Birlinn Ltd
Colour throughout

Glory and Honour

The Renaissance in Scotland
by Andrea Thomas - Find out more about the author

'[Thomas is] a natural story-teller whose relaxed style masks exhaustive research [. . .] engrossing, eye-opening history' – Rosemary Goring, Scottish Review of Books

'[B]eautifully illustrated . . . this historical examination brings to life artefacts of the era, while painting a picture of an innovative and outward-looking society that has always been open to broader cultural differences' – The Lady

‘Most impressive . . . Andrea Thomas embraces her subject with meticulous care’ – Scots Magazine

The Renaissance was the pre-eminent cultural and intellectual movement of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Europe. It began in Italy and spread elsewhere along trade routes and through diplomatic channels. Since the Scottish kingdom was relatively remote, Renaissance impulses were often filtered through intermediaries in other countries, although there was some direct Italian influence too. Consequently, the Scottish version of Renaissance culture was a hybrid with multiple antecedents, adapted to suit the needs of Scottish patrons. The Stewart monarchs and the Scottish aristocracy were poorer than many other princes and nobles but keen to assert their equality in dignity and status. They sought to participate fully in the European mainstream, and saw their cultural patronage as a powerful way to facilitate that aim. The buildings, books and artefacts of the period tell the story of a vibrant and cosmopolitan culture that was innovative and confident as well as imitative and aspirational.

Andrea Thomas is Welsh by birth, English by marriage, and Scottish by affinity. She was schooled in Swansea, gained a history degree from the University of Oxford and a doctorate in Scottish history from the University of Edinburgh. She has taught at several leading independent schools and writes on aspects of the culture of sixteenth-century Scotland. She is the author of Princelie Majestie: The Court of James V of Scotland, 1528–1542 (John Donald, 2005), and various articles and essays.