Friday, January 29, 2010

Here's a list of books

As I promised yesterday, here is a list of books that I found helpful in my research into Scottish history. 

Scotland: The Story of a Nation by Magnus Magnusson-This was the first book I got. It is a very good one to start out with especially if you are doing a study on just Scotland in particular and not on any one subject. Magnusson writes it as a story, so it is also very interesting for younger readers. I still use it as a reference when I just need to look something up quick.

David R. Ross:

A Passion for Scotland-This is the book every Scot needs to read. David R. Ross is my favorite historian ever. He is so funny and the way he writes gets you right into the history without bombarding you with facts and dates and stuff and you still learn everything in the end anyway! This one is mainly an overview of Scotland's history and connections.

Desire Lines-I am still reading this one at the moment. This book is a step-by-step guid through Scotland with history sprinkled throughout. David takes you to hundreds of different places where Scotland's greatest sons and daughters walked through the ages. Perfect for someone who is planning a trip to Scotland.

On the Trail of William Wallace-If you are studying William Wallace, this is a book you need to read. It helped me when I was writing a novel on Wallace and I would suggest it to anyone.

On the Trail of Robert the Bruce-I have not read this one yet, but it's mainly the same as the one about William Wallace and I trust David's information enough that I can suggest this book without reading it.

On the Trail of Bonnie Prince Charlie-Again, a book I have not read, but if you are studying the Jacobite Uprising of '45 then you should try to find this book.

For Freedom: The Last Days of William Wallace-This is more of a tribute then an actual history but it is a must read for anyone who feels for William Wallace. It recounts his last weeks and also David Ross' Walk for Wallace, a commemoration he put together to remember the 700th anniversary of Wallace's death. A fantastic book that will bring a tear to your eye.

On the Trail of Scotland's history-I haven't read this one either, but it's going to be one of the next ones I get. It's just what it sounds like!

James the Good: The Black Douglas-Another one I haven't read, but this is a biography on James Douglas, one of Robert Bruce's most loyal followers. He was an amazing man and a true Scottish hero.

William Wallace: Brave Heart by James MacKay-I read this book when I was writing my novel on William Wallace. It is good, if not a bit exhaustive in parts and I would suggest it, though, as a warning, he had a couple inaccuracies in his book, but as long as you supplement it with David R. Ross' book, it shouldn't do too much harm!

William Wallace: Man and Myth by Morton Graeme-This is a very interesting read for anyone who has in interest in William Wallace. It is not really a history, but it goes through the legacy of Wallace from the day he died up until modern times. 

Rob Roy MacGregor His life and Times by W. H. Murray-If you're looking for a biography on Rob Roy, this one is probably one of the best. It's written almost like a novel and not only does it look into Rob's life, but also how people lived back then. I found it really helpful to understanding just the normal every day life of the Scottish people in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Under the Hammer: Edward I and Scotland by Fiona Watson-I just got this book a couple weeks ago, so I have not really had the chance to go through it yet, but I have heard good things about Fiona Watson and the book sounded good. It kind of goes through what it was like living under the reign of Edward I, or Longshanks as we call him, and of course goes through the lives of Wallace and Bruce. Once I read it, I will tell you what I think.

That was only a few of the books I have found helpful. If you have any questions about books you might have picked up or others that might be helpful, I will do my best to point you in the right direction. If I have not read all the books myself, I have at least heard of them and can probably tell you weather or not they are a good read.

I'll say good bye for the weekend then! Talk to you again Monday!
Slainte, Hazel


  1. Can I suggest John Prebble who wrote "Glencoe" and "Culloden" and perhaps Frank McLynn and/or Compton McKenzie on Charles.
    You may find the book list under "Library" in the 1745 Associations Website useful (I am NOT a member and most conventional Jacobites have little time for my Irish Republicanism which they deem worse than the Hannoverians) LOL

    There is also a drama documentary on Cuulloden from the BBC in the 1960s which turns up periodically on You Tube. The actors were all amateurs from the Inverness area.

  2. Thank you! I always like to find new books. I will eventually be writing another book set in the '45 so when I am ready to write that, I will most likely be looking for more books to do research with. Thank you for the links, I'll have to check them out!

  3. Im actually writing a screenplay too LOL.
    It will never make it to screen of course but half the fun is thinking of actors to play the parts.
    If you would like ideas on uniforms, Jacobite songs or just my take on Jacobite history, email me at (I dont publicise my site much)

  4. That's really cool! I'm a novel writer myself, (not yet published) but I've always hoped that someday one of my books will make it to the screen. I also like to pick out people to play my characters! I will be sure to email you if I ever have any questions. It's just nice to have someone to talk to who knows what they're talking about!

  5. In fairness, I should point out that very few people think I know what Im talking about LOL. I do know quite a lot about the military side of things. As you probably know "Fitzjames Horse" was actually the name of a Franco-Irish regiment in French service which fought at Culloden and escorted Charles from the field. I have also been to all of the Jacobite sites in Ireland and Scotland.
    The "conservative element" in Jacobitism which still believes in the Divine Right of kings and is hostile to Democracy or Republicanism dont like me very much. In their terms SATAN himself was the first Republican. He tried to overthrow GOD after all. So obviously like the Irish themselves, I have moved to a position of Irish Republicanism.
    Jacobitism to me is merely "historic". Brave, principled.....but historic.

  6. It's really the same with all groups like that. Like in the American Civil War, there is still the animosity between the Union and the Confederacy. I see it all the time, though I wished they'd just let it go! LOL. But that's what war is. You're either for one side or the other.