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Stone Of Destiny

Stone Of DestinyScotland's Stone of Destiny: Myth, History and Nationhood Scotland's 'Stone of Destiny' is the most famous symbol of both Scottish nationhood and the British monarchy. Nick Aitchison, born in Falkirk, witha degree in Archaeology and Scottish History and a PhD at the University of Glasgow, has produced the first full-length, fully researched and fully illustrated study of its history, mythology and cultural significance.

Having first traced the origin, evolution and function of myths surrounding the Stone and the ancient prophecy that gives the stone its name, he examines the stone itself - its appearance, geology and source - and for the first time reveals the Stone's original function and the origins of its symbolic sanctity. The Stone's much-disputed authenticity is then assessed - with the conclusion that the Stone is the genuine inauguration stone of the Scottish kings seized by Edward I in 1926.

The Stone's historic contexts, first at the Pictish and Scottish royal centre at Scone and subsequently at Westminster Abbey, and its role in royal inauguration and coronation rituals, are then discussed. This includes an analysis of the rich symbolism surrounding the Stone and its changing nature over time. The final chapter attempts to return the Stone to Scotland, from unsuccessful medieval efforts, through its brief but celebrated retrieval in 1950-1, to its restoration and installation in Edinburgh Castle in 1996. Throughout, the importance of the Stone during the Scottish War of Independence is emphasised and the book concludes with a discussion of the Stone's symbolic significance with the creation of the Scottish parliament.

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