The Scottish Enlightenment Abroad

The Russells of Braidshaw in Aleppo and on the Coast of Coromandel

In The Scottish Enlightenment Abroad, Janet Starkey examines the lives and works of Scots working in the mid eighteenth century with the Levant Company in Aleppo, then within the Ottoman Empire; and those working with the East India Company in India, especially in the fields of natural history, medicine, ethnography and the collection of Arabic and Persian manuscripts. The focus is on brothers from Edinburgh: Alexander Russell MD FRS, Patrick Russell MD FRS, Claud Russell and William Russell FRS.

By examining a wide range of modern interpretations, Starkey argues that the Scottish Enlightenment was not just a philosophical discourse but a multi-faceted cultural revolution that owed its vibrancy to ties of kinship, and to strong commercial and intellectual links with Europe and further abroad.

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Biographical Note

Janet Starkey MA (Hons), MPhil, PhD, retired lecturer from Durham University. A founder member of the Association for the Study of Travel in Egypt and the Near East (ASTENE), she has published many edited volumes and articles on the Middle East.

Review Quotes

"The Scottish Enlightenment Abroad provides a scholarly, remarkably wideranging and thorough guide to the intellectual ferment of the eighteenth century and to the achievements of Alexander and Patrick Russell as physicians, natural historians, orientalists, collectors of Arabic manuscripts and recorders of scientific and social phenomena." Robert Irwin in Times Literary Supplement 26 April 2019.

Readership

All interested in the Scottish Enlightenment, the lives of Scots in the Ottoman Empire and in India, and in medicine, natural history, ethnography and Arabic manuscripts in the eighteenth century.