A talk by Alex Wood
Illegitimacy has for long been both a feature of Scottish life and a source of passionate debate, detailed research and popular discussion. Shame, secrecy, half-truths and occasional downright lies have surrounded both the subject of illegitimacy and the experiences of the illegitimate. Moreover, Scotland’s remarkably high illegitimacy levels in the late 19th century, especially high in particular communities and geographical locations, are almost the opposite of what might be expected in a Victorian society dominated by Presbyterianism. Scottish Bastards will review the extent of illegitimacy in Scotland between the mid-19th and mid-20th centuries and its enormously varied local incidence and, by examining several case-studies, will explore social and ethical attitudes to illegitimacy.
Alex Wood’s career in education spanned almost 40 years, including several posts as Head Teacher. With an active background in politics, he was twice a parliamentary candidate and was an elected member of Edinburgh District Council. Alex has been an active genealogical researcher for over twenty years, also teaching genealogy and family history to a series of highly successful adult classes in Edinburgh. He holds the University of Strathclyde’s MSc in Genealogical, Palaeographic and Heraldic Studies and writes regular columns on educational issues for the Times Educational Supplement Scotland, SecEd and Holyrood Magazine, and for several other publications including The Herald, Scottish Review and Family Tree on education, Scottish politics and culture and genealogy. He is currently writing and researching his book Scottish Bastards.