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Thread: Newsletter 28th December 2018

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    Newsletter 28th December 2018

    For the latest news from Scotland see our ScotNews feed at:

    Electric Scotland News

    Wishing you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    As usual we have activated our special Christmas page at:


    Perhaps it is not too much to say that "Auld Lang Syne" is the best known and most widely diffused song in the civilised world. The use of the sacred song "Old Hundred" is limited by differences of sect, and that of the National Anthem "God save the Queen" is confined to subjects of the British Empire. But sectarianism and nationality are parochial in comparison to the wide domain of humanity embraced by "Auld Lang Syne." Our brethren in every quarter of the earth know it better than we do ourselves; and I have heard a mixed company of Scots, English, Germans, Italians, and French Swiss sing the chorus in an upland hotel in Switzerland. The poetry and the music of the song as now known, have been developed from poetry and music which existed previously. In both its parts, it is an example of the evolution of art. If it should be thought that this view deprives Robert Burns of the merit of originality, then so far as Shakspeare has plagiarised "Romeo and Juliet" from an old Italian tale, and Handel has cribbed the "Hailstone" chorus from Carissimi’s "Jonah," Burns is in the same list. But pedantry of this sort may be brushed aside. What all the three named artists touched they embellished,—they found dry bones and breathed into them life. It is the purpose of this paper to trace the development of the poetry and music of a world-wide song, the representative of a form of literature which has always existed, and which has stirred human emotion in every age, in spite of contempt continually poured on it.

    Read more at:


    Here is the video introduction to this newsletter...

    Scottish News from this weeks newspapers
    Note that this is a selection and more can be read in our ScotNews feed on our index page where we list news from the past 1-2 weeks. I am partly doing this to build an archive of modern news from and about Scotland as all the newsletters are archived and also indexed on Google and other search engines. I might also add that in newspapers such as the Guardian, Scotsman, Courier, etc. you will find many comments which can be just as interesting as the news story itself and of course you can also add your own comments if you wish.

    Wreaths laid to mark Lockerbie bombing 30th anniversary
    A service has taken place in southern Scotland to remember the victims of the Lockerbie bombing 30 years on.

    Read more at:

    Scottish poet Tom Leonard dies age 74
    Famed for writing in the Glaswegian dialect, Mr Leonard's best-known poetry includes his 1967 collection Six Glasgow Poems and The Six O'Clock News.

    Read more at:

    Shy Baillie Gifford reveals sensible and Scottish formula
    With no public profit or budget goals and quietly run by its 44 owner-partners, Edinburgh-based Baillie Gifford has ammassed 200 billion pounds in funds under management.

    Read more at:

    The Scottish Clearances by TM Devine review lives ruined for profit
    An eminent Scottish historian chronicles the loss of land in the Highlands and records the voices of those sent into exile

    Read more at:

    The most popular baby names in Scotland
    Jack was revealed today as the most popular name for baby boys registered north of the Border in 2018 - the 11th year in a row it’s topped the charts.

    Read more at:

    Union Jack and the Beanstalk - a modern fairy story
    By John Redwood

    Read this at:

    Britain commissions review of Christian persecution worldwide
    Britain has commissioned an independent review into the persecution of Christians to find practical steps to support followers of a religion that it said has been subject to a dramatic rise in violence worldwide.

    Read more at:

    Dundee pals honour World War 1 heroes with Black Watch remembrance in France
    Amid high-profile ceremonies to mark 100 years since the armistice, a group of pals paid their own personal tribute.

    Read more at:

    Ancient stone carvings hidden for 600 years discovered on tomb at Scots cathedral
    At least a dozen saint-like figures were found etched onto Bishop Cardeny's resting place at Dunkeld Cathedral in Perthshire.

    Read more at:

    Electric Canadian

    The Canadian Horticulturist
    Added volume 8, published by the Fruit Growers Association of Ontario.

    You can read this at:

    Canadian Archive Reports
    Added the 1888 report.

    You can read this at:

    The Canadian Annual Review of Public Affairs
    The Canadian Annual Review of Public Affairs for 1906 which you can read at:

    Canadian Fisherman
    You can read volume 3 at:

    The Biography of a Grizzly
    By Ernest Thompson Seton (1919) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    The Emigrant and Sportsman in Canada
    Some Experiences of an old country settler including sketches of Canadian Life, sporting adventures and observations on the Forests and fauna by John J. Edwan (1876) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    The Hudson Bay Route
    Proposed railway line to Hudson Bay (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Canadian life as I found it
    Four years homesteading in the North-West territories by Homesteader (1908) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    The Canadian Journal of Medicine and Surgery
    A Journal published monthly in the interest of Medicine and Surgery, J. J. Cassidy, M.D., Editor. Vol I. January to June 1897. (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Electric Scotland

    Beth's Newfangled Family Tree
    Got in the January 2019 section 1 which you can read at:

    Clan Wallace Society
    Got in their Fall 2018 newsletter which you can read at:

    Gaelic Elegies
    In Memory of Dr. John MacDonald, Free Church, Ferintosh, Rev. Alexander Stewart, Cromarty, and Mrs. Margaret M'Kay Keay Country Sutherlandshie by the Rev. W. Findklater Minister of the Free Church, Durness (1850) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    Kenneth Grahame
    Added a small write up of him and made available links to two of his books, Wind in the Willows and Pagan Papers.

    You can read this at:

    Robert Ford
    He built a great collection of Scottish Poetry and Ballads and I am listing some of his books for you to read.

    You can read about him at:

    Maths and Arithmetic for Kids
    Links to learning resources which you can get to at:

    The Scottish Review
    Volume 22 - July October 1893

    You can read this at:

    Added a Calendar program so you can add dates for Highland Games or clan events. This is an old but very good program which I forgot we had so with the help of my hosting company have been able to bring this back albeit with an old header which I've still to sort out.

    The main thing about this program is you can tell it to mark it as an annual event on either the same date each year or the first Saturday of the month of September each year. So with Highland Games you can set it up once and then forget it. You can also add notes to the entry so you can add web site address, contact details and driving directions, etc. If you are going to add additional information you should prepare this in a text editor so you can copy and paste it in.

    See this at:

    Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah
    Comprising photographs, Genealogies, biographies. Pioneers are those men and women who came to Utah by Wagon, hand cart, or afoot, between July 24, 1847 and December 30, 1868 before the railroad By Frank Esshow (1913) (pdf)

    You can read this at:

    The Story

    In the Scottish Review I have highlighted above there is a very good and long article on Lord MacAulay who wrote the History of England. I have extracted a few pages of this article as it describes how detailed his research was to produce his publication. I will be bringing you a two volume publication on his Life and Letters in the next issue.

    It is only within the last few years that the full materials for a judgment on Lord Macaulay’s life have been laid before the public; and now when a calm review of it is made, no impartial critic can deny that his talents were brilliant, that his public life was in the highest degree honourable and straightforward, and that as an orator, a jurist, and a politician, he acquired a reputation which has been eclipsed only by his success as a historian and essayist It is therefore by his History chiefly that his renown as a ‘man of letters,’ will ultimately stand or fall, and we venture to assert that after the enthusiastic eulogy with which its appearance was greeted, and the inevitable re-action which followed, it has now recovered its equilibrium on a basis from which it will never be overthrown. In examining this great work, at the present time, we have only recently had the advantage of considering the author’s biography along with it, and from his diary and letters we get a new insight into the labour and trouble expended on that task, which he called ‘the business and pleasure of his life.’

    Looking at history in its simplest aspect the principal qualities required to make a good historian would seem to be chiefly three—unwearying diligence and accuracy in searching for the materials of his narrative; an impartial judgment in treating of those materials; and ability to clothe his story in language the finest and most effective. As regards the last, adverse criticism seems absurd. The brilliancy of his style, the picturesque force imparted by his antithesis and occasional epigram, the beauty and purity of his diction are generally admitted, and form undoubtedly his greatest attraction. But his biography has thrown considerable light upon his accuracy and diligence in collecting his information, and as this is a point in which he has been unfavourably criticised, it is desirable to take advantage of the information supplied by Mr. Trevelyan. In speaking of Macaulay’s industry and toil, he tells us that Thackeray remarked long ago, ‘ He reads 20 books to write a sentence: he travels a hundred miles to make a line of description.’ This is now proved to be literally true. On the 8th of February 1849, he writes in his diary after the publication of the first two volumes, I must get by reading and travelling a full acquaintance with William’s reign: I reckon this will take me eighteen months. I must visit Holland, Belgium, Scotland, Ireland and France. The Dutch and French archives must be ransacked. I must see Londonderry, the Boyne, Aghrim, Limerick, Kinsale, Namur, Landend, Steinkirk. I must explore Lambeth, the Bodleian and other Oxford libraries, the Devonshire Papers, and the British Museum, and make notes. When the materials are ready and the history mapped out in my mind, I ought to write two of my pages daily. In two years, I shall have finished my second part. Then I reckon a year for polishing, retouching, and printing.’ ‘This programme,’ says Mr. Trevelyan, ‘was faithfully carried out. He saw Glencoe in rain and sunshine. He paid a second visit to Killiecrankie for the special purpose of walking up the old road which skirts the Garry in order to verify the received accounts of the time spent by the Lowland army in mounting the pass.’ The notes made during his fortnight’s tour through the scenes of the Irish war were equal in bulk to an article in the Edinburgh Review, and he passed two days in Londonderry, penetrating into every corner where there still lurked a vestige of the past, and calling upon every inhabitant who was acquainted with any tradition worth hearing. It is interesting to notice how his accurate notes of what he saw are extended and enlarged in the beautiful narrative of the history. For instance,—after visiting the scene of the Battle of the Boyne, the following entry appears in his notebook—6 The country looked like a flourishing part of England. Cornfields, gardens, woods, succeeded each other just as in Kent and Warwickshire.’ This hasty note of his personal observations is transformed into the following graceful description in the history. ‘ Beneath lay a valley now so rich and so cheerful that an Englishman who gazes on it may imagine himself to be in one of the most highly-favoured parts of his own highly-favoured country. Fields of wheat, woodlands, meadows bright with daisies and clover, slope gently down to the edge of the Boyne. In the 17th century the aspect was very different,’ &c.

    As an example of his unremitting toil, observe the amount of time expended on the subject of the Massacre of Glencoe. Its narrative occupies only thirty octavo pages, yet his journal shows that he spent nineteen working days of about ten hours each in reading up the manuscripts relating to the subject, and in composing those few pages which describe so graphically the horrors of that tragedy; and this, be it remembered, in addition to two visits paid to the actual spot. Altogether, seven years were spent in preparing for and composing the first two volumes, and exactly the same period on the third and fourth. So much for his diligence in collecting his materials, and his accuracy in verifying them by personal inspection of the places.

    And that's it for this week and hope you all have a Very Happy New Year.


  2. Thanks sandyc, redneckbobby, Rick, 1938 Observer thanked for this post.
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  3. #2

    Join Date
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    Penguin. Tasmania.
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    Re: Newsletter 28th December 2018

    I thought that "Jack & The Beanstalk..A Modern Fairy Story" was a great read

  4. Thanks Alastair thanked for this post.
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    Join Date
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    Prince George, British Columbia, Canada
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    Re: Newsletter 28th December 2018

    Happy New Year Alastair and all, and Happy Hogmanay too!

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