The Reivers

The Story of the Border Reivers

By Alistair Moffat

Format: Multiple Formats

Only one period in history is immediately linked to the whole area of the Scottish and English Border country, and that is the time of the Reivers. Whenever anyone mentions Reiver, no-one hesitates to add Border. This book tells the tale of a land that was a no-man's-land but a land over which blood was shed on both sides of an invisible border.

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Birlinn Limited

Birlinn publishes mostly non-fiction books, ranging from biography to history, military history and Scottish interest. Their imprints, Polygon Books, Arena Sport Books and John Donald Books, publish a wide variety of genres including culture, literary fiction, poetry and sports.

Product Description

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Only one period in history is immediately, indelibly and uniquely linked to the whole area of the Scottish and English Border country, and that is the time of the Reivers. Whenever anyone mentions 'Reiver', no-one hesitates to add 'Border'. It is an inextricable association, and rightly so. Nowhere else in Britain in the modern era, or indeed in Europe, did civil order break down over such a wide area, or for such a long time. For more than a century the hoof-beats of countless raiding parties drummed over the border. From Dumfriesshire to the high wastes of East Cumbria, from Roxburghshire to Redesdale, from the lonely valley of Liddesdale to the fortress city of Carlisle, swords and spears spoke while the law remained silent. Fierce family loyalty counted for everything while the rules of nationality counted for nothing.The whole range of the Cheviot Hills, its watershed ridges and the river valleys which flowed out of them became the landscape of larceny while Maxwells, Grahams, Fenwicks, Carletons, Armstrongs and Elliots rode hard and often for plunder. These were the Riding Times and in modern European history, they have no parallel.


This book tells the remarkable story of the Reivers and how they made the Borders.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Format Multiple Formats
Imprint Birlinn Limited
Publication Date 28 Feb 2008
SKU 9781841586748-grouped
Number of Pages 272

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Press Reviews

"This is a page-turning history, lucidly written, and it is enhanced by a selection of five famous Border ballads. One of the best reads of the year, without doubt." -- Hamish Coghill "Scottish Life" 'This is a history as exciting and dramatic as the Border ballads themselves' - Cumberland News 'a most compelling, thought-provoking and entertaining history' - The Herald

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