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History, History
Publication Date
14 May 2015
Hardback (also available as an eBook)
Available for Sale
Birlinn Ltd

Scottish History without the Boring Bits

A Chronicle of the Curious, the Eccentric, the Atrocious and the Unlikely


eBook also available from the iBookstore

'It’s light, sometimes lurid, but with a very human focus' – History Revealed

'This collection of anecdotes and quirky facts will delight those seeking an alternative history of our nation' – Scots Magazine

As an antidote to more sober accounts of Scotland’s history, Ian Crofon offers a colourful chronology of the eccentric, the infamous, the bawdy, the horrific and the hilarious people and events that have spattered across the pages of our nation’s story.

From the Royal High School riot to Marocco the Wonder Horse, from the War of the One-Eyed Woman to the MP cleared of stealing his exmistress’s knickers, Scottish History without the Boring Bits includes a host of little-known tales that you won’t find in more conventional works of history, including

  • the chatelaine who struck a general over the head with a leg of mutton
  • the cow that gave birth to fourteen puppies
  • the clan chief who ripped out the throat of his enemy with his teeth
  • the surgeon who was so fast with the saw that he inadvertently took off his patient’s testicles as well as his leg
  • the mathematician who calculated that the Christian religion would finally disappear in the year 3153.

Ian Crofton’s alternative history of Scotland looks at the country’s seedy underbelly with a quizzical eye. It is full of the mischievous humour and lightly-worn scholarship so praised by the critics in his Dictionary of Scottish Phrase and Fable.

Ian Crofton has written a wide range of non-fiction books, including a number that look at the quirkier aspects of history and other subjects, e.g. History without the Boring Bits, Science Without the Boring Bits, and A Curious History of Food and Drink. Born in Edinburgh, he studied at the University of Sussex before working as an editor at Collins in Glasgow. He now works freelance.

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