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Culloden Tales: Stories from Scotland's Most Famous Battlefield Paperback – November 1, 2017
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About the Author
- ASIN : 1910948098
- Publisher : Mainstream Publishing; Reprint edition (November 1, 2017)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 224 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9781910948095
- ISBN-13 : 978-1910948095
- Item Weight : 5.5 ounces
- Dimensions : 5 x 0.6 x 7.75 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #274,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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My ancestral connection to Culloden was not mentioned. Donald MacKay in Scotland Farewell: The People of the Hector describes the battle through the lens of Alexander Cameron, a passenger on the Hector in July 1773. Since this story is so well told by Mr. MacKay, it is not surprising that it does not appear in Mr. Allison's book. Alexander Cameron is a 4th great grandfather to me. So I do have a personal connection to Culloden. Alexander lived to the age of 104, so he had many years to retell his story.
I have one nit to pick. Donald MacCrimmon is said to be Lord MacLeod's piper. That is likely correct as Mr. Allison probably has good evidence for this. The nit is the implication that Lord MacLeod was also the MacLeod Chief from Skye. The MacCrimmons were and are the pipers to the Chief MacLeod of MacLeod at Dunvegan, Skye. There was an active school of piping near Dunvegan. Lord MacLeod was a title assumed by John MacKenzie, the son of George MacKenzie, Earl of Cromarty. The Chief at Dunvegan stayed neutral in the '45 thus keeping his head and his property in tact. The MacKenzies like the Hapsburgs through marriage and a bit of force had acquired the territory once belonging to the MacLeod Chief of Lewis. This is the source of the title "Lord MacLeod" assumed by John MacKenzie. George and John MacKenzie were ardent Jacobites. John commanded the Cromartie Regiment (MacKenzies) at Falkirk. The Chief MacLeod of Raasay was an ardent Jacobite. The Chief MacLeod of MacLeod still lives at Dunvegan Castle on Skye. The current incumbent MacLeod Chiefs of Raasay and Lewis both live in Tasmania.
Is a book you're going to love. History can be very dry, but this book will hold your interest from first page to last.
I'm not sure what I expected when I ordered this book. However, the cover depicts a classic Scottish basket-hilt broadsword sticking out of a grassy field, and a discarded "targe" (shield) lies off to the side. The heavy overcast of sky is enhanced by the swords blade glittering in the rays of dying sunlight. Litteral or, symbolic, it draws you into the pages of the book as strongly as the shrill of the bagpipe!
Mr. Allison immediately advises the reader what his intentions are in the book during his Introduction and Prologue. He lays out the contents perfectly and follows each sub-title exactly as he indicates he will.
The first part of the book quickly shoots the reader through the ancient history of Scotland and then, proceeds into the time period of Culloden. I admit, that despite the author's excellent format structuring, I became somewhat lost in the quagmire of the Stewart (Stuart?) dynasties, and those of Hanover. Perhaps, my American ignorance of royal family linage is partially to blame.
Despite the cousins, uncles, and other familial conglomerations, Mr. Allison keeps the reader attuned to numerous facts which include such specifics as: "The battle of Culloden was not a war between England and Scotland: it was a British Civil war between the houses of Stuart, and Hanover." Further, "It was not a religious war between Catholic and Protestant, but Protestant Presbyterian versus Protestant Episcopalian," and ...many more reasons that the reader will discover.
Allison mentions numerous Clans who participated on both sides, but mainly that of the Jacobites. He describes some of the Clans and their battle positions within the attacking frontal assault. He also tells where these Clan members fell in realtionship to the overall battle. Apparently, many rocks are placed throughout the battlefield where these Clansmen are buried. However, an aerial photo of the historic site would have been more helpfull for readers such as myself.
Allison supplies numerous photographs of rock monuments showing the inscription of Clan names, but again... without a visual reference to their overall positions. Furthermore, he mentions some new artifacts which recently came to light, but...not a drawing or photograph to help the reader visualize them.
Perhaps, the most interesting part of the book is ...Part Four. Part Four centers on certain stories handed down to descendants of the battle participants and "Naturally...the Supernatural!" Many of these collected ghostly stories from those who work there, or have simply visited the site are truly interesting!
All in all...a good job Mr. Allison!
My mother was a Campbell and...the words to an old folk song of the 60's played in my head as I read the book. The words went something like this:
"The cry of the raven rang over the moors; the drums were calling the Clans to war. Then,it's good by Mum and Mary, I'm off to war to fight for the honor of the son that you bore. Never forget who you are my son, never dishonor the Clan, for your fathers before you they died in the fields...died for our green pasture lands. And over the hill lies brave Bobby Campbell ...the gun still clutched in his hands..."
Grab your sword and dirk! Culloden is calling!!!!
Top reviews from other countries
These stories brought the people themselves to life and the memories of those whose ancestors fought on the field and those with just a brief connection with the area.