Historian Tom Devine to retire

Tom Devine. Picture: Greg Macvean
Tom Devine. Picture: Greg Macvean
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ONE of Scotland’s leading historians is to retire after a career spanning more than four decades.

Professor Tom Devine, director of the Scottish Centre for Diaspora Studies at the University of Edinburgh, and author of almost 40 books including international best seller The Scottish Nation, will step down on July 31.

Prof Devine, 68, whose teaching career spans 45 years at the universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, said that with the extensive coverage of the independence referendum there had never been so much interest in the history of Scotland worldwide.

“It is definitely time for me to go. I did actually retire three years ago but the university brought me back for research and managerial reasons.

“It’s been tremendously exciting to be involved when the subject has come of age and has considerable dynamism. Scottish history can hold its head up.”

Prof Devine said he intended to keep promoting his subject and would also be writing about Scotland’s role in the slave trade.

He is the only historian to have been awarded Scotland’s premier academic accolade, the Royal Medal by the Queen. He is the only living scholar in humanities and social sciences in the UK to have been elected to three learned academies in the British Isles: Royal Society of Edinburgh, Royal Irish Academy and the British Academy.

An event to mark his departure will be held by the university on June 16.