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The Flowers of the Forest (new edition)

History, Military, History & Adventure, New Releases
Publication Date
08 August 2019
Paperback (also available as an eBook)
Available for Sale
Birlinn Limited
16pp b/w plates

The Flowers of the Forest (new edition)

Scotland and the First World War
by Trevor Royle - Find out more about the author


eBook also available at the iBookstore

’Trevor Royle has done First World War History a great service' – Gary Sheffield

'Graphic, ably controlled…the power of imaginative storytelling is Royle’s endeavour’ – The Guardian

’His exceptional talents at narration produce a work that is both through-provoking and engaging. This is a vivid, solidly-written book, drawing upon the best in recent scholarship’ – International Review of Scottish Studies

On the brink of the First World War, Scotland was regarded throughout the British Isles as ‘the workshop of the Empire’. Not only were Clyde-built ships known the world over, Scotland produced half of Britain’s total production of railway equipment, and the cotton and jute industries flourished in Paisley and Dundee. In addition, Scots were a hugely important source of manpower for the colonies. Yet after the war, Scotland became an industrial and financial backwater. Emigration increased as morale slumped in the face of economic stagnation and decline. The country had paid a disproportionately high price in casualties, a result of huge numbers of volunteers and the use of Scottish battalions as shock troops in the fighting on the Western Front and Gallipoli – young men whom the novelist Ian Hay called ‘the vanished generation’.

In this book, Trevor Royle provides the first full account of how the war changed Scotland irrevocably by exploring a wide range of themes – the overwhelming response to the call for volunteers; the performance of Scottish military formations in 1915 and 1916; the militarisation of the Scottish homeland; the resistance to war in Glasgow and the west of Scotland; the boom in the heavy industries and the strengthening of women’s role in society following on from wartime employment              

Trevor Royle is a broadcaster and author specialising in the history of war and empire. He is Associate Editor of the Sunday Herald and a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Trevor's books include The Flowers of the Forest: Scotland and the First World War and A Time of Tyrants: Scotland and the Second World War.


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