The Scottish Enlightenment Abroad: The Russells of Braidshaw in Aleppo and on the Coast of Coromandel
Janet Starkey, Durham University
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.