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Kelsey Jackson Williams, The First Scottish Enlightenment: Rebels, Priests, and History

Kelsey Jackson Williams, The First Scottish Enlightenment: Rebels, Priests, and History 66 REVIEWS Kelsey Jackson Williams, The First Scottish Enlightenment: Rebels, Priests, and History. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020. 368 pp. £70 hardback. ISBN: 9780198809692. In this remarkable and engaging book, Kelsey Jackson Williams convinc- ingly makes the case for the existence of an early Enlightenment in Scotland, which spanned the 1680s to the 1740s and achieved a dramatic and lasting transformation in the practice and conception of Scottish history. He frames this intellectual revolution as an ‘antiquarian Enlightenment’, whose central focus was the study of the Scottish past and its relationship with the present. As Jackson Williams argues, its central participants differed substantially from the ‘moderate Presbyterians sitting in Edinburgh drawing rooms’ (p. 1) who dominated the more famous Scottish Enlightenment of the latter half of the eighteenth century. By contrast, the dramatis personae of the early Enlightenment were the political and religious outsiders of eighteenth- century Scotland: the Episcopalians, Catholics, and Jacobites with strong- holds among the aristocratic families of Aberdeen and the rural North East, whose scholarship was profoundly shaped by their connections in continental Europe. Through meticulous archival research, Jackson Williams vividly recaptures the importance of this early Enlightenment in forging new approaches to and understandings http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Scottish Church History Edinburgh University Press

Kelsey Jackson Williams, The First Scottish Enlightenment: Rebels, Priests, and History

Scottish Church History , Volume 50 (1): 3 – Apr 1, 2021

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Edinburgh University Press
ISSN
2516-6298
eISSN
2516-6301
DOI
10.3366/sch.2021.0046
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

66 REVIEWS Kelsey Jackson Williams, The First Scottish Enlightenment: Rebels, Priests, and History. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020. 368 pp. £70 hardback. ISBN: 9780198809692. In this remarkable and engaging book, Kelsey Jackson Williams convinc- ingly makes the case for the existence of an early Enlightenment in Scotland, which spanned the 1680s to the 1740s and achieved a dramatic and lasting transformation in the practice and conception of Scottish history. He frames this intellectual revolution as an ‘antiquarian Enlightenment’, whose central focus was the study of the Scottish past and its relationship with the present. As Jackson Williams argues, its central participants differed substantially from the ‘moderate Presbyterians sitting in Edinburgh drawing rooms’ (p. 1) who dominated the more famous Scottish Enlightenment of the latter half of the eighteenth century. By contrast, the dramatis personae of the early Enlightenment were the political and religious outsiders of eighteenth- century Scotland: the Episcopalians, Catholics, and Jacobites with strong- holds among the aristocratic families of Aberdeen and the rural North East, whose scholarship was profoundly shaped by their connections in continental Europe. Through meticulous archival research, Jackson Williams vividly recaptures the importance of this early Enlightenment in forging new approaches to and understandings

Journal

Scottish Church HistoryEdinburgh University Press

Published: Apr 1, 2021

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