Shinty dies hard : "Scotland's national game" : a re-assessment and re-definition, with particular reference to its survival and development in the nineteenth century in Australia, Canada, England and Ireland
An original bilingual (Gaelic-English) collection of vocabulary, nomenclature and terminology relating to shinty and hurling, with reference to other stick and ball games is included as the first element. The sources consulted in Scotland, Ireland, Canada and Australia provide the first synthesis of material available about shinty in the nineteenth century across four Continents. Shinty is set in its historical context, examining the evidence, literary and oral, in both Gaelic and English, linking the game to other sports and cultures. A source-based approach is used to produce an analytical and innovative examination of the importance of shinty in its pre-regulated era, principally in terms of New York celebration. The game is examined in a specifically cultural context detailing how it changed during the nineteenth century with its fluctuating fortunes in rural and urban environments compared and contrasted over time. "Shinty in Glasgow" details the historical provenance of shinty in the Gaelic capital of the Highlands; "Shinty in England" details the precise nature of the game beyond Hadrian's Wall; "Shinty in the Americas" has as its focus shinty's influence as cultural anchor in Canada, and the apparent progenitor of ice hockey; "Shinty in Australia" breaks new ground, disproving the current mythology surrounding the game in Australia, examining the extent to which shinty survived as part of the cultural baggage taken by Scottish emigrants in the nineteenth century. Two chapters on the modern game analyse the effects of World Wars and economic/demographic change on the game and assess the links which existed with the Irish game of hurling at a number of levels. Revisionary conclusions are offered about the extent to which shinty was played as a game in the nineteenth century; how it was played across Scotland and an assessment made of the legitimacy of the game's traditional claim to be "Scotland's national game".