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What I'm reading (and more)

January 26th, 2003

The Invention of Tradition edited by Hobsbawm and Ranger. It’s about the process by which national and other ‘traditions’ were constructed, deliberately and otherwise, mainly in the 19th Century. Lots of interesting stuff. I knew, for example, that clan tartans were a C19 invention, postdating the destruction of the clan system by 70 years -the big stimulus was the first royal visit to Scotland by George IV in 1822. I was unaware, though, the the kilt was invented as a way of modernising Highland dress by an English manufacturer around 1720. I plan a big essay on this topic one day.

I’ve also acquired an iPod (I bet SDB won’t be surprised to discover I’m a Machead as well as a peacemonger). I’m enjoying listening to it, and I can justify the purchase on the basis that it makes a great portable hard drive as well.

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