Tom Devine & Angela McCarthy

Event date: 
Monday 14 August
Baillie Gifford Main Theatre


Join Scotland's premier historian, Professor Sir Tom Devine, and the renowned emigration scholar and IASH Fellow Professor Angela McCarthy, as they explore the hidden histories of Scots in Asia including some surprising tales of tea and opium. The authors share their remarkable story of James Taylor, the Kincardineshire man who pioneered the global popularity of Ceylon tea before dying in disgrace and being largely unwritten about until now. Using a unique archive of Taylor's letters written over a 40-year period, the authors give an unusually detailed reconstruction of a British planter's life in Asia at the high noon of empire, charting the development of Ceylon's key commodities in the nineteenth century and examining the dark side of planting life including conflict, oppression and despair.