While hundreds of books cover Scotland, her culture, and her people, certain standout mentions deserve consideration by players trying to gain a better grasp on the setting of Revelations. Let these be rich references and helpful guideposts to understanding a patchwork nation of many faces and many names. Our Resources: Source Material page lists some excellent movies, novels, TV programmes, and music that sets the feel of the game.
- A History of Scotland: The BBC's epic tome which goes alongside the highly recommended TV series. A thorough review of the important periods of Scottish development from the Celtic period to the present.
- Scotland: Story of a Nation: A readable gem illustrates the Scottish as a people and their culture as they rise as a country.
- Age of the Picts: Discusses the origins and fate of the Picts.
- The Faded Map: the Lost Kingdoms of Scotland: Covering the patchwork of places in existence before the kingdom of Scotland unified, this book is a great overview and comes from one of the leading Scottish historians.
- Scandinavian Scotland: Wikipedia entry for the Norse period in Scotland.
- The Vikings: The BBC programme hosted by Neil Oliver is a great view into Bergen and Viking culture.
Travel Books |
Many writers from medieval history and antiquity wrote about Scotland, shaping the western perception of that wild, northern country. Legends passed down through oral history ended up woven into the bards and poets of the day, re-imagined by Englishmen and Frenchmen, or imagined by famous thinkers. The books below were selected for thematic and plot significance, and players who read them may find their experience on Revelations enriched.
- Agricola: The Roman historian Tacitus provides a view of pre-Roman Scotland and the totally fabricated speech of war leader Calgacus.
- Y Gododdin: The epic battle of Britons and invading Anglo-Saxons, as written by the bard Aneirin, is thought to involve the original settlers of Edinburgh (Dun Eidyn). A lengthy sprawl of poetry represents the earliest literature in Britain.
- Historia Brittonum: A 9th-century compilation on the history of Britain gives first mentions to King Arthur and some interesting, if dubious, facts about early Scotland.
- Ecclesiastical History of the English People: Bede wrote of the kingdom of Northumbria, which controlled southern Scotland, and speaks of the Christianisation of the country.
- Life of St. Columba: St. Adamnan's story of the great saint.
- Life of Kentigern: The hagiography of St. Kentigern of Glasgow.
- Northvegr: An outstanding collection of Norse sagas and early English histories.
- Orkneyjar Saga: Scandinavian Scotland's primary source for information.
Mythology and Folktales|
Scottish mythology extends beyond the tales of selkies, unseelie fairies, and angry redheaded Celts. Successive waves of invasion and settlement brought native Briton (Welsh), Celtic, Irish, Norse, Anglo-Saxon, and Norman stories in country's early days. Christianity found a foothold off the island of Iona while druidic traditions flourished on the mainland, and later Scandinavian gods followed on Viking longships from across the North Sea. Scottish folklore is an elaborate field in its own right, but these resources can help sort through some of the finer points.
- Dictionary of Celtic Mythology: A standard reference for Celtic folklore with itemized entries for people, places, and things. A bit light on Scottish entries, sadly, this one nonetheless can introduce a reader to the major players and important areas in the British Isles.