Sir Tom will make festival appearance with a ‘challenging’ look at the clearances

Sir Tom Devine
Sir Tom Devine

Motherwell-born historian Sir Tom Devine will present A Forgotten History: The Scottish Clearances on Friday, October 12, as part of this year’s Festival of Politics at the Scottish Parliament.

This will follow the publication of Sir Tom’s ground-breaking new book The Scottish Clearances: A History of the Dispossessed (1600-1900), a unique and challenging reinterpretation of one of the most controversial subjects in Scottish history – The Clearances.

Sir Tom, who is Sir William Fraser Professor Emeritus of Scottish History and Palaeography at the University of Edinburgh, will be joined by Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh as they discuss fresh perspectives on the many men, women and children affected by The Clearances.

The Scottish Clearances: A History of the Dispossessed (1600-1900) will be published tomorrow (Thursday), and Sir Tom claims this is his most ambitious and challenging project in Scottish history to date.

Go along from 5.30-7pm and learn why the book threatens to undermine some of the nation’s most cherished orthodoxies about its past.

Tickets costing £8/£6 are available via the Scottish Parliament in person or by calling 0131 348 5200.

The festival programme of presents a mixture of debate, music, comedy and film from October 10-13 to explore the history that made us and the issues that will shape our future including Brexit, the NHS and public broadcasting.

Highlights include the Scottish Parliament becoming the first UK legislature to host the BBC’s Question Time, when it broadcasts from Debating Chamber on October 11.

Other events include interviews with renowned author and academic Professor Mary Beard, rapper and social commentator Loki, UK political figures Lord Michael Heseltine and Dame Margaret Hodge MP, and Booker Prize winning novelist and poet Ben Okri.

Full details of the festival programme are available by visiting www.parliament.scot/festival, with hard copies available from most Waterstones and Blackwells bookstores.