The Highland Clearances were one of the most disruptive events in Scotland's history. Between 1785 and the 1850s thousands of highland crofters were forcibly evicted from their homes to make way for large-scale sheep farming, their lands handed over to rich southerners. Some of Scotland's leading novelists have tackled this highly emotive subject in fiction, such as Neil Miller Gunn and Iain Crichton Smith. Much of the Scottish Diaspora literature, featuring the Scots experience in Canada, the USA and Australia, can be directly traced to the impact of the Clearances. For a wider discussion of history books about the Clearances, see our Clearances reading guide.