Read an excerpt from the new book by Kathryn Warner
‘The Worst Disaster Suffered by the People of Scotland in Recorded History’: Climate Change, Dearth and Pathogens in the Long Fourteenth Century
It is not the aim of this essay to provide an environmental history of medieval Scotland or even just of the fourteenth century in Scotland; that is a much larger task than can be addressed here. Rather, the intention is to explore the nature of the evidence that is available within the documentary record and place it alongside the various forms of proxy data for climate history to produce a synthetic narrative.
Tours. They can be great, or they can be cringeworthy and rife with misinformation. A great tour guide knows how to add a flourish or two to a story to keep the audience engaged and the history interesting. A bad tour guide invents things and hopes there isn’t a historian in the audience dismayed by the falsehoods they’re spreading to unwitting listeners…