Saturday 1 December 2018

The Battle of Killiecrankie and the First Jacobite Campaign 1689-91

Those nice people at Helion sent me another book to review last week and what a corker!

Where to start? What an excellent book, as one would expect based on Dr Oates' previous publications. Actually possibly better than the others? I knew very little beyond the bare details of this campaign, together of course with what could be gleaned from Sir Walter Scott's "Bonnie Dundee" and the fact that the poor man was killed at the moment of victory over the Williamite army at Killiecrankie. The first third or so of the book gives a wealth of information, on the politics in Scotland during the 1670's-80's, background information on the major commanders of both sides and chapters on the officers and men and composition of both armies. Then we immediately get stuck in with a dazzling account of Battle of Killiecrankie followed by equally informative descriptions of the subsequent battles of Dunkeld and Cromdale, before the campaign finally comes to perhaps a futile end in 1691. The book contains several pages of gorgeous colour plates detailing the uniforms/clothing of both armies by the talented Mark Allen, together with further black and white drawings by Alan Turton. Some helpful maps and lots of black and white photos complement the text, which is clearly written and well referenced, with a useful and comprehensive bibliography of primary and secondary sources. A great read, not too long, and an excellent addition to the library. If you don't believe me, buy it and read it yourselves :-)

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