Top five Jacobite reads


16 October 2020
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Looking for a fiction or non-fiction read to take you right to the heart of Jacobite Scotland? Read on for five recommendations.

1715: The Great Jacobite Rebellion by Professor Daniel Szechi

This study of the 1715 Jacbobite rising was the first modern assessment of this episode in more than sixty years. The author explores the size of the Jacobite army, which equated to one man in six within Scotland, and as such assessed the 1715 rising as a national rising, albeit with what turned out to be ineffective leadership.

Culloden: Great Battles by Murray Pittock

The battle of Culloden was over in less than an hour and was the last pitched battle to be fought on British soil with regular troops on both sides. Professor Murray Pittock provides evidence to overturn the old assumptions that the battle was fought between Highlander and Lowlander, Catholic versus Protestant. 

 Professor Pittock online Jacobite talk, 18 November - details here

James VII Duke and King of Scots by Alastair Mann

This biography of James VII/II forges new ground by examining this little-studied monarch’s life and reputation from a Scottish perspective, both as Duke of Albany and king of Scots. Author Alastair Mann follows James from his birth in 1633 through to his death in 1701 , examining his role as a military commander, father and prince in exile.

The King Over the Water: A complete history of the Jacobites by Desmond Seward

This is one of the newest non-fiction Jacobite titles and is billed as ‘the first modern history for general readers of the entire Jacobite movement in Scotland, England and Ireland…’

Author Desmond Seward approaches the topic by demonstrating that supporters of the Jacobite cause were multi-faceted and multinational, by no means all were Scottish and it is interesting to read of how the cause was viewed and furthered by its supporters in England, Ireland and Wales.

Waverley by Sir Walter Scott

Set in the days before the 1745 Jacobite Rising, this historical novel follows the fortune of English gentleman Edmund Waverley who visits Scotland with romantic ideas of what the country will be like and finds himself immersed in a political struggle and a culture that he doesn’t understand. The novel features real-life incidents from the Jacobite rising and locations including Palace of Holyroodhouse, Prestonpans and Doune Castle. 

Explore the latest thinking and cutting-edge research on the Jacobite period with History Scotland's themed Jacobite special, available to order now. Click here for details.