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Homage to Caledonia


The Spanish civil war was a call to arms for 2,300 British volunteers, of
which over 500 were from Scotland. The first book of its kind, ‘Homage to
Caledonia’ examines Scotland’s role in the conflict, detailing exactly why
Scottish involvement was so profound. The book moves chronologically through
events and places, firstly surveying the landscape in contemporary Scotland
before describing volunteers’ journeys to Spain, and then tracing their
every involvement from arrival to homecoming (or not). There is also an
account of the non-combative role, from fundraising for Spain and medical
aid, to political manoeuvrings within the volatile Scottish left. Using a
wealth of previously-unpublished letters sent back from the front as well as
other archival items, Daniel Gray is able to tell little known stories of
courage in conflict, and to call into question accepted versions of events
such as the ‘murder’ of Bob Smillie, or the heroism of ‘The Scots Scarlet
Pimpernel’. Homage to Caledonia offers a very human take on events in Spain:
for every tale of abject distress in a time of war, there is a tale of a
Scottish volunteer urinating in his general’s boots, knocking back a dram
with Errol Flynn or appalling Spanish comrades with his pipe playing. For
the first time, read the fascinating story of Caledonia’s role in this
seminal conflict.

SKU: 23704 Category: Tags: ,
Subtitle: Scotland and the Spanish Civil War
Author: Gray, Daniel
Year: 2009
ISBN: 9781906817169
Pages: 256
Language: English
Publisher: Luath
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