Scots & Catalans: Union and Disunion

J.H. Elliott

Yale University Press 2020
A book review by Danny Yee © 2023
Despite its title, Scots and Catalans sticks closely to political history, with just a little economic history and barely a glance at literature, language, social history, and so forth. Elliott avoids dramatisation or biography but is quite readable, always keeping the broader picture in view and avoiding getting too bogged down in details and isolated events. He doesn't try to do too much with the parallelism, however: there's no suggestion that there is any kind of common factor that explains events in both Scotland and Catalonia.

Elliott was a specialist on early modern Spanish history and Scots and Catalans reflects that: it starts in 1469 with the marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella, and its mid point is as early as 1789. There are just two pages on the Spanish Civil War and four on the Franco era, and three on Scotland over the same period. There's much more extensive treatment of 1975-2017, though much of that is not really history yet. A brief conclusion comes down moderately in support of union, but Scots and Catalans is solid history and not in any way polemical or tendentious.

September 2023

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%T Scots & Catalans
%S Union and Disunion
%A Elliott, J.H.
%I Yale University Press
%D 2020
%O paperback, notes, bibliography, index
%G ISBN-13 9780300253382
%P 339pp