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Portrait of the Scottish Poor

Rosalind Mitchison, 5 June 1980

The State of the Scottish Working Class in 1843 
by Ian Levitt and Christopher Smout.
Scottish Academic Press, 284 pp., £7.50, December 1979, 0 7073 0247 1
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... This book is based on one of the most thorough of 19th-century government inquiries, the six volumes of the Report of the Royal Commission on the Poor Law (Scotland) of 1844. The Commission had, the year before, put out an elaborate questionnaire to the 906 parishes of Scotland, usually to the minister, with 70 questions on it, most of which were answered for almost all the parishes ...

Nimbying

Rosalind Mitchison, 31 August 1989

Poverty and Welfare in Scotland 1890-1948 
by Ian Levitt.
Edinburgh, 241 pp., £30, November 1988, 0 85224 558 0
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The Retreat of Tuberculosis 1850-1950 
by F.B. Smith.
Croom Helm, 271 pp., £25, January 1988, 0 7099 3383 5
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Below the Magic Mountain: A Social History of Tuberculosis in 20th-century Britain 
by Linda Bryder.
Oxford, 298 pp., £30, April 1988, 9780198229476
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... difficult to sustain in the better living conditions which came to obtain in the period covered by Levitt’s book. In the 1890s poor relief in Scotland became welded onto ordinary local government: its management was no longer the preserve of groups carefully structured to keep out the sort of people who might fall into its ministrations. Democracy had got ...

The Great Scots Education Hoax

Rosalind Mitchison, 18 October 1984

The Companion to Gaelic Scotland 
edited by Derick Thomson.
Blackwell, 363 pp., £25, December 1983, 0 631 12502 7
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Experience and Enlightenment: Socialisation for Cultural Changes in 18th-Century Scotland 
by Charles Camic.
Edinburgh, 301 pp., £20, January 1984, 0 85224 483 5
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Knee Deep in Claret: A Celebration of Wine and Scotland 
by Billy Kay and Cailean Maclean.
Mainstream, 232 pp., £9.95, November 1983, 0 906391 45 8
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Education and Opportunity in Victorian Scotland: Schools and Universities 
by R.D. Anderson.
Oxford, 384 pp., £25, July 1983, 0 19 822696 9
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Scotland: The Real Divide 
edited by Gordon Brown and Robin Cook.
Mainstream, 251 pp., £9.95, November 1983, 0 906391 18 0
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Wealth and Virtue: The Shaping of Political Economy in the Scottish Enlightenment 
edited by Istvan Hont and Michael Ignatieff.
Cambridge, 371 pp., £35, November 1983, 0 521 23397 6
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... bring out a comparison or illustrate a point but set out in such a way that the point is missed. Ian Levitt claims that ‘lagging health indicators show poverty,’ but the only figures he advances, the number of hospital in-patients per year, expanding from 1890 to 1960, are mainly a sign of the increase in hospital provision. There is a failure to ...

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