The Jacobite Rebellion of 1745-46 is one of the most important turning points in British history--in terms of national crisis every bit the equal of 1066 and 1940. The tale of Charles Edward Stuart, "Bonnie Prince Charlie," and his heroic attempt to regain his grandfather's (James II) crown--remains the stuff of legend: the hunted fugitive, Flora MacDonald, and the dramatic escape over the sea to the Isle of Skye.Read more...
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The Jacobite Rebellion of 1745-46 is one of the most important turning points in British history--in terms of national crisis every bit the equal of 1066 and 1940. The tale of Charles Edward Stuart, "Bonnie Prince Charlie," and his heroic attempt to regain his grandfather's (James II) crown--remains the stuff of legend: the hunted fugitive, Flora MacDonald, and the dramatic escape over the sea to the Isle of Skye. But the full story--the real history--is even more dramatic, captivating, and revelatory.
Much more than a single rebellion, the events of 1745 were part of an ongoing civil war that threatened to destabilize the British nation and its empire. The Bonnie Prince and his army alone, which included a large contingent of Scottish highlanders, could not have posed a great threat. But with the involvement of Britain's perennial enemy, Catholic France, it was a far more dangerous and potentially catastrophic situation for the British crown. With encouragement and support from Louis XV, Charles's triumphant Jacobite army advanced all the way to Derby, a mere 120 miles from London, before a series of missteps ultimately doomed the rebellion to crushing defeat and annihilation at Culloden in April 1746--the last battle ever fought on British soil.
Jacqueline Riding conveys the full weight of these monumental years of English and Scottish history as the future course of Great Britain as a united nation was irreversibly altered.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-05-16
- Reviewer: Staff
Riding, a specialist in 18th-century British history, relates how Bonnie Prince Charlie, the Young Pretender, tried and failed in 1745 to replicate Charles II’s restoration of the Stuart monarchy. She maintains objectivity regarding the struggle for power between the Stuarts and the Hanovers, making this work unusual among the many passionate and patriotism-tinged treatments of the oft-romanticized prince. Riding’s Charles, naive yet determined, relentlessly pushes toward London, gathering a mix of informally trained Highlanders and Lowlanders as well as a promise of French support. Throughout, Riding seamlessly incorporates journal entries, letters, and other primary sources from both major figures and the local people affected by long-hidden hopes, media-stoked fears, and ravenous armies on both sides. This incorporation of ordinary Scots reveals the mixed attitudes toward Charles’s cause. Illustrations accompanying each chapter also bolster the textual descriptions of Charles’s use of various dress styles (Highland kilts, Lowlander breeches, French trends) to show familiarity with the various groups whose support he desperately needed. Riding effectively shows why Bonnie Prince Charlie’s once-great hopes during a tumultuous and adventure-packed year in Scotland led to a crushing defeat at Culloden—and continue to inspire the romanticization of his legend centuries later. Illus. Agency: A.M. Heath & Co. Ltd. (U.K.). (July)