Most helpful positive review
Scotland: The weapons, the armor, the families, the Men - their traditions
on January 14, 2014
Shire publications is a brilliant publishing house devoted to present Britain’s myriad aspects to the general audience. It has books about pretty much everything British and they go to great lengths to provide accurate, although non academic, fascinating information about each subject. This title by the expert historian Fergus Cannan follows that trend.
With fascinating details but without delving to deep in the subject (that isn’t the purpose of this work), the author managed to transmit not only a history of Scottish arms and armor, but also a quick overview of Scottish military history, providing background for the described weapons.
From the earliest days (before there were Scots in Caledonia) to the last century, Cannan will give you a glimpse of what weapons were used in each period and why; it will provide you the background to understand the Highlander Clannish ways; detail specific weapons popular in Scotland like the Claymore, Lochaber Axe, Dirk, Sgian dhu; the importance of “the men of the art” in Scottish society (including extremely interesting information about several blacksmith families); Scottish firearms and artillery, etc.
As all the above wasn’t enough, it has fabulous color plates by Graham Turner (including Earl of Montrose at Flodden in 1513; Bannockburn 1314; Scots artillery of the 16th century; The Scots lines at Dunbar 1650; Ensign, drummer and Pikeman of the Strathbogie regiment, 1644)!!! You will also find this volume profusely illustrated with photos of artifacts, portraits and monuments and a very good further reading guide (divided by chapters).