Talk

David Taylor

Nairn Community & Arts Centre,
6 Sep – 6 Sep

David Taylor - ‘The People Are Not There’: The Transformation of Badenoch 1800–1863

Badenoch lies just an hour’s drive south from Nairn. Yet it is a different world; even more so 200 years ago. Depopulation – such a dominant theme in Highland history – is obviously the primary focus of the book, though examined from a very specific local perspective. Whether enforced clearance or economic migration, people form the glens drifted into the newly established villages, abandoned the area to find work in the Lowlands, or emigrated to the colonies to seek a more secure existence for themselves and their families – often with remarkable success. 
The heart of the discussion, however, lies not in depopulation per se but in the underlying forces that drove the process: the economic upheaval resulting from the ‘improvement’ ethos, the social reconstruction brought by rampant commercialism, and the cultural vacuum left by the disintegration of clan identity and the emergence of a new landed elite.

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