In April 2014, during the third year of my doctoral studies, I made a research trip to Edinburgh with my family to review the documents of Thomas Cochrane that are held in the National Archive of Scotland. We had always wanted to visit the city and it seemed like a good opportunity. We also travelled at a particular time, only a few months before the referendum to decide whether Scotland would remain in the United Kingdom. This was really significant. I could witness how a considerable part of Scottish society was calling into question the idea of a British ‘nation’, whose existence I was convinced of after reading Linda Colley’s classic ...
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