Professor R A Houston
Professor R A Houston

Professor R A Houston

MA (St. And.), PhD (Cantab.), FRHistS, MAE, FRSE

Contact Details

E-mail -
Telephone - +44 (0)1334 462901
Fax - +44 (0)1334 462914

Research Profile on Research@St Andrews




Teaching and Research Interests

Royal Society of Edinburgh

Academia Europaea

Teaches principally English social history, c.1500-1800. He researches Scottish and English social history c.1450-1850 but has published in many areas of European social history including literacy, urbanisation, medical history and demography. For current projects see Curriculum Vitae (June 2018).

Main Publications

  • Scottish Literacy and the Scottish Identity: Literacy and Society in Scotland and England, 1660-1850  (Cambridge University Press, 1989) [Details]
  • Literacy in Early Modern Europe: Culture and Education, 1500-1800  (Longman, 1989; Italian translation, 1996) [Details]
  • The Population History of Britain and Ireland, 1500-1750  (MacMillan, 1991)
  • Social Change in the Age of Enlightenment: Edinburgh, 1660-1760  (Oxford University Press, 1994)
  • Madness and Society in Eighteenth-Century Scotland  (Oxford University Press, 1999) [Details]
  • (with Uta Frith), Autism in History: The Case of Hugh Blair of Borgue  (Blackwell, 2000) [Details]
  • (edited with W W Knox) The New Penguin History of Scotland: From the Earliest Times to the Present Day  (Penguin, 2001) [Details]
  • Scotland: a very short introduction. (Oxford University Press, 2008) [Details]
  • Punishing the dead? Suicide, lordship and community in Britain, 1500-1830 (Oxford University Press, 2010) [Details]
  • Round table review in Britain and the world 4, 2 (2011), 303-20.
  • Bride ales and penny weddings: recreations, reciprocity, and regions in Britain from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century (Oxford University Press, 2014). [Details]
  • The coroners of northern Britain, c.1300-1700 (Palgrave, 2014).
  • Peasant petitions: social relations and economic life on landed estates, 1600-1850 (Palgrave, 2014). [Details]

Other publications and full Research Profile available on Research@St Andrews

Teaching Duties

Participates in the teaching of First and Second Level Modern History, taught Postgraduate programs and offers the following Honours courses:

Research Students

Guest Lecturing

Professor Houston has acted as a specialist or ‘expert’ lecturer on vacation tours of Scotland, most recently a Smithsonian Journeys trip called ‘Scotland’s Treasures’. Guests have described his lectures on topics such as ‘Scottish History at the Movies’ and ‘Who are the Scots like?’ as ‘entertaining’, ‘stimulating’, ‘erudite but accessible’, and ‘providing real depth on Scottish history and culture’.


Main Publications

Autism in History

Scottish History