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TITLE
Do you have an anecdote which highlights the 'human' aspect of your specialist subject? - Marjory Harper
EXTERNAL ID
AB_SGI_04_MARJORY_HARPER_Q_04
PLACENAME
Inverness
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona
DATE OF RECORDING
2009
PERIOD
2000s
CREATOR
Marjory Harper
SOURCE
Am Baile
ASSET ID
41030
KEYWORDS
conferences
emigration
lecturers
audio
audios
humanaspect

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As part of Homecoming Scotland 2009, a three-day international conference - Scotland's Global Impact - was held at Eden Court theatre, Inverness from 22-24 October. Prominent academics, historians and other experts came together to provoke healthy discussion on the history of migration and the influence of Scots abroad.

Am Baile interviewed several of the speakers during the conference. In this audio extract, Dr Marjory Harper answers the question:

'Do you have an anecdote which highlights the 'human' aspect of your specialist subject?'

'I could give you any number of anecdotes, I think, but one poignant one that comes to mind is from some earlier work I did on the nineteenth-century emigrant, and it's the pencil diary of a thirteen-year-old boy from Monymusk in Aberdeenshire who emigrated to Canada with his parents and six siblings in 1846. His mother was pregnant, and she died two weeks into the voyage, after having suffered horrendously in those two weeks. The baby - well, she died, and the baby, both died and they were put over the side, and in his diary he records how he felt as the ship sailed on, leaving his mother's body on the sea bed off the bank, off the banks of Newfoundland. And then, also in that collection is a letter from his father, written to the man's late wife's parents back in Monymusk, explaining what had happened, and saying, 'We're now sailing up the St Lawrence. How I wish we would strike a rock so that we would all be drowned.' And they'd left with such high expectations, and the loss of the wife, and the loss of the infant, changed all those positive expectations into misery, and within a year the father had also died, and we don't know what happened to the children. So that's, I mean, that's a fairly dramatic case but it certainly stuck in my mind. What also stuck in my mind was how articulate this pencil-written diary was, for a thirteen year old boy from a parish school.'


BIOGRAPHY

Marjory Harper is Reader in History at the University of Aberdeen and also works one day a week for the UHI Millennium Institute's Centre for History. She has published several books and articles on Scottish migration, including 'Adventurers and Exiles: The Great Scottish Exodus' (2003) which won the 2004 Saltire Society Prize for the best history book of the year.

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Do you have an anecdote which highlights the 'human' aspect of your specialist subject? - Marjory Harper

INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona

2000s

conferences; emigration; lecturers; audio; audios; humanaspect;

Am Baile

Scotland's Global Impact

As part of Homecoming Scotland 2009, a three-day international conference - Scotland's Global Impact - was held at Eden Court theatre, Inverness from 22-24 October. Prominent academics, historians and other experts came together to provoke healthy discussion on the history of migration and the influence of Scots abroad. <br /> <br /> Am Baile interviewed several of the speakers during the conference. In this audio extract, Dr Marjory Harper answers the question:<br /> <br /> 'Do you have an anecdote which highlights the 'human' aspect of your specialist subject?' <br /> <br /> 'I could give you any number of anecdotes, I think, but one poignant one that comes to mind is from some earlier work I did on the nineteenth-century emigrant, and it's the pencil diary of a thirteen-year-old boy from Monymusk in Aberdeenshire who emigrated to Canada with his parents and six siblings in 1846. His mother was pregnant, and she died two weeks into the voyage, after having suffered horrendously in those two weeks. The baby - well, she died, and the baby, both died and they were put over the side, and in his diary he records how he felt as the ship sailed on, leaving his mother's body on the sea bed off the bank, off the banks of Newfoundland. And then, also in that collection is a letter from his father, written to the man's late wife's parents back in Monymusk, explaining what had happened, and saying, 'We're now sailing up the St Lawrence. How I wish we would strike a rock so that we would all be drowned.' And they'd left with such high expectations, and the loss of the wife, and the loss of the infant, changed all those positive expectations into misery, and within a year the father had also died, and we don't know what happened to the children. So that's, I mean, that's a fairly dramatic case but it certainly stuck in my mind. What also stuck in my mind was how articulate this pencil-written diary was, for a thirteen year old boy from a parish school.'<br /> <br /> <br /> BIOGRAPHY<br /> <br /> Marjory Harper is Reader in History at the University of Aberdeen and also works one day a week for the UHI Millennium Institute's Centre for History. She has published several books and articles on Scottish migration, including 'Adventurers and Exiles: The Great Scottish Exodus' (2003) which won the 2004 Saltire Society Prize for the best history book of the year.