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Alistair Moffat - Author

About the Author

Alistair Moffat was born and bred in the Scottish Borders. A former Director of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Director of Programmes at Scottish Television, he now runs the burgeoning Borders Book Festival as well as a production company based near Selkirk. He has written twelve books, including Kelsae, The Reivers, The Sea Kingdoms, The Borders and The Wall, all of which are published by Birlinn.

Featured books by Alistair Moffat

Other books by Alistair Moffat

Britain's DNA Journey Our Remarkable Genetic Story

Britain's DNA Journey Our Remarkable Genetic Story

Author: Alistair Moffat Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 10/10/2019

In an epic narrative, sometimes moving, sometimes astonishing, always revealing, Moffat writes an entirely new history of Britain. Instead of the usual parade of the usual suspects - kings, queens, saints, warriors and the notorious - this is a people's history, a narrative made from stories only DNA can tell, which offers insights into who we are and where we come from. Based on exciting new research involving the largest sampling of DNA ever made in Britain, Alistair Moffat shows the true origins of our island's inhabitants.

To the Island of Tides A Journey to Lindisfarne

To the Island of Tides A Journey to Lindisfarne

Author: Alistair Moffat Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/08/2019

In To the Island of Tides, Alistair Moffat travels to - and through the history of - the fated island of Lindisfarne. Walking from his home in the Borders, through the historical landscape of Scotland and northern England, he takes us on a pilgrimage in the footsteps of saints and scholars, before arriving for a secular retreat on the Holy Isle. Lindisfarne, famous for its monastery, home to Saints Aidan and Cuthbert and the place where the celebrated Lindisfarne Gospels were written, has long been a place of sanctuary. It is an island rich in history: the Romans knew it as Insula Medicata; it reached the height of its fame in the dark ages, even survived Viking raids, before ultimately being abandoned after Henry VIII's dissolution of the monastaries. Today the isle maintains its position as a space for retreat and spiritual renewal. To the Island of Tides is a walk through history, a meditation on the power of place, but also a more personal journey; a chance for a personal stock-taking and a reflection on where life leads us.

The Borders A History of the Borders from Earliest Times

The Borders A History of the Borders from Earliest Times

Author: Alistair Moffat Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 12/07/2018

This is the story of the border: a place of beginnings and endings, of differences and similarities. It is the story of England and Scotland, told not from the remoteness of London or Edinburgh or in the tired terms of national histories, but up close and personal, toe to toe and eyeball to eyeball across the tweed, the Cheviots, the Esk and the tidal races of the upper Solway. This is a tale told in blood, fun and granite-hard memory. This is the story of an ancient place; where hunter-gatherers penetrated into the virgin interior, where Celtic warlords ruled, the Romans came but could not conquer, where the glittering kingdom of Northumbria thrived, the place where David MacMalcolm raised great abbeys, where the border rivers rode into history, and where Walter Scott sat at Abbotsford and brooded on the area's rich and historic legacy.

The Hidden Ways Scotland's Forgotten Roads

The Hidden Ways Scotland's Forgotten Roads

Author: Alistair Moffat Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/05/2018

Shortlisted for the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards In The Hidden Ways, Alistair Moffat traverses the lost paths of Scotland - its Roman roads tramped by armies, its byways and pilgrim routes, drove roads and railways, turnpikes and sea roads - in a bid to understand how our history has left its mark upon our landscape. As he retraces the forgotten paths that shaped and were shaped by the lives of the now forgotten people who trod them, Moffat charts a powerful, surprising and moving history of Scotland.

The Hidden Ways Scotland's Forgotten Roads

The Hidden Ways Scotland's Forgotten Roads

Author: Alistair Moffat Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/10/2017

Shortlisted for the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards In The Hidden Ways, Alistair Moffat traverses the lost paths of Scotland. Down Roman roads tramped by armies, warpaths and pilgrim routes, drove roads and rail roads, turnpikes and sea roads, he traces the arteries through which our nation's lifeblood has flowed in a bid to understand how our history has left its mark upon our landscape. Moffat's travels along the hidden ways reveal not only the searing beauty and magic of the Scottish landscape, but open up a different sort of history, a new way of understanding our past by walking in the footsteps of our ancestors. In retracing the forgotten paths, he charts a powerful, surprising and moving history of Scotland through the unremembered lives who have moved through it.

Scotland A History from Earliest Times

Scotland A History from Earliest Times

Author: Alistair Moffat Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 21/09/2017

From the Ice Age to the recent Scottish Referendum, historian and author Alistair Moffat explores the history of the Scottish nation. As well as focusing on key moments in the nation's history such as the Battle of Bannockburn and the Jacobite Risings, Moffat also features other episodes in history that are perhaps less well documented. From prehistoric timber halls to inventions and literature, Moffat's tale explores the drama of battle, change, loss and invention interspersed with the lives of ordinary Scottish folk, the men and women who defined a nation.

Britain A Genetic Journey

Britain A Genetic Journey

Author: Alistair Moffat Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/03/2017

Based on exciting new research involving the largest sampling of DNA ever made in Britain, Alistair Moffat, author of the bestselling The Scots: A Genetic Journey, shows how all of us who live on these islands are immigrants. The last ice age erased any trace of more ancient inhabitants, and the ancestors of everyone who now lives in Britain came here after the glaciers retreated and the land greened once more. In an epic narrative, sometimes moving, sometimes astonishing, always revealing, Moffat writes an entirely new history of Britain. Instead of the usual parade of the usual suspects - kings, queens, saints, warriors and the notorious - this is a people's history, a narrative made from stories only DNA can tell which offers insights into who we are and where we come from.

The Wall Rome's Greatest Frontier

The Wall Rome's Greatest Frontier

Author: Alistair Moffat Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/03/2017

Hadrian's Wall is the largest, most spectacular and one of the most enigmatic historical monument in Britain. Nothing else approaches its vast scale: a land wall running 73 miles from east to west and a sea wall stretching at least 26 miles down the Cumbrian coast. Many of its forts are as large as Britain's most formidable medieval castles, and the wide ditch dug to the south of the Wall, the vallum, is larger than any surviving prehistoric earthwork. Built in a ten-year period by more than 30,000 soldiers and labourers at the behest of an extraordinary emperor, the Wall consisted of more than 24 million stones, giving it a mass greater than all the Egyptian pyramids put together. At least a million people visit Hadrian's Wall each year and it has been designated a World Heritage Site. In this book, based on literary and historical sources as well as the latest archaeological research, Alistair Moffat considers who built the Wall, how it was built, why it was built and how it affected the native peoples who lived in its mighty shadow. The result is a unique and fascinating insight into one of the Wonders of the Ancient World.

The Reivers The Story of the Border Reivers

The Reivers The Story of the Border Reivers

Author: Alistair Moffat Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/03/2017

Only one period in history is immediately, indelibly and uniquely linked to the whole area of the Scottish and English Border country, and that is the time of the Reivers. Whenever anyone mentions 'Reiver', no-one hesitates to add 'Border'. It is an inextricable association, and rightly so. Nowhere else in Britain in the modern era, or indeed in Europe, did civil order break down over such a wide area, or for such a long time. For more than a century the hoof-beats of countless raiding parties drummed over the border. From Dumfriesshire to the high wastes of East Cumbria, from Roxburghshire to Redesdale, from the lonely valley of Liddesdale to the fortress city of Carlisle, swords and spears spoke while the law remained silent. Fierce family loyalty counted for everything while the rules of nationality counted for nothing.The whole range of the Cheviot Hills, its watershed ridges and the river valleys which flowed out of them became the landscape of larceny while Maxwells, Grahams, Fenwicks, Carletons, Armstrongs and Elliots rode hard and often for plunder. These were the Riding Times and in modern European history, they have no parallel. This book tells the remarkable story of the Reivers and how they made the Borders.

Bannockburn The Battle for a Nation

Bannockburn The Battle for a Nation

Author: Alistair Moffat Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/06/2016

As 8,000 Scottish soldiers, most of them spearmen, faced 18,000 English infantrymen, archers and mounted knights in June 1314 near the Bannock Burn, many would have thought that the result a foregone conclusion. But two days later, the English were routed, Edward II fled to the coast and took ship for home, and few English and Welsh soldiers escaped from Scotland unhurt. This emphatic victory was the moment that enabled Scotland to remain independent and pursue a different destiny. In this book, best-selling author Alistair Moffat offers fresh insights into one of the most famous battles in history, yet one which is surprisingly little understood. Where exactly was it fought; and what happened at the Scottish council of war the night before the second day to persuade the Scots to attack at dawn?This book follows in detail the events of those two days that changed history, and captures all the fear, heroism, confusion and desperation as he describes the tactics and manoeuvres that led to a stunning and unexpected Scottish victory.

Scotland

Scotland

Author: Alistair Moffat Format: eBook Release Date: 22/09/2015

'Alistair Moffat's Bannockburn is a pacy account of the days leading up to the battle' - Saturday Herald 'A carefully considered account of a well-trodden historical event, Moffat enlightens and educates with an up-to-date interpretation of a battle firmly cemented in Scottish history' - Scottish Field 'Mr Moffat's account of the duel between Bruce and de Bohun is totally gripping and he is particularly enthralling about the councils of war onthe eve of the second day's battle' - Country Life From the Ice Age to the recent Scottish Referendum, historian and author Alistair Moffat explores the history of the Scottish nation. As well as focusing on key moments in the nation's history such as the Battle of Bannockburn and the Jacobite Risings, Moffat also features other episodes in history that are perhaps less well documented. From prehistoric timber halls to inventions and literature, Moffat's tale explores the drama of battle, change, loss and invention interspersed with the lives of ordinary Scottish folk, the men and women who defined a nation.

Hawick A History from Earliest Times

Hawick A History from Earliest Times

Author: Alistair Moffat Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/03/2014

As Hawick celebrates the 500th anniversary of the fight at Hornshole, the first stirrings of the defining traditions of the common riding, Alistair Moffat takes the narrative much further back into the mists of prehistory, to the time of the Romans, the coming of the Angles and the Normans. He recounts how Hawick got its name, where the old village stood, who the early barons of Hawick were and then charts the amazing rise of the textile trade, bringing the story right up to the present day. Beneath the familiar streets and closes lies an immense story - the remarkable and unique story of Hawick. If this book shows anything, it shows that Hawick has changed radically over the many centuries since people began to live between the Slitrig and the Teviot. All that experience in one place has created and invented much and the future will turn for the better for a simple reason. Hawick's greatest invention is her people.

The Highland Clans

The Highland Clans

Author: Alistair Moffat Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/02/2013

The story of the Highland clans is a gripping one, full of celebrated names and heroic deeds. It is also, as Alistair Moffat reveals, the story of a fearless people, shaped by the unique traditions and landscape of the Scottish Highlands. Here, he traces the history of the clans from their Celtic origins to the coming of the Romans, through the great battles of Bannockburn and Flodden, to the Clearances and the present day. The images bring the stories to life with historical portraits and depictions of significant events such as the battles or the Highland dances, to name but a few. The story of the clans is also about the pain of leaving, with the great emigrations to the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Complete with a clan map and an alphabetical list of the clans of the Scottish Highlands, this is a must for anyone interested in the history of Scotland.

Author Info

Author's Website

https://www.alistairmoffat.co.uk/

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