Wednesday, 30 January 2013

HIGHLANDERS: A History of the Highland Clans

HIGHLANDERS: A History of the Highland Clans
FITZROY MACLEAN Book Number: 71487 Product format: Paperback

There are very few people who are not bowled over by the colourful history and the apparel of Scotland. Surely there can be no sexier outfit for a man than the kilt, long socks and jacket of the traditional costume, all in the complicated tartan weaves that have been worn for hundreds of years? Queen Victoria herself was mad about tartan, and decorated Balmoral Castle with a wealth of it. In this extraordinary and romantic account of the Highlanders, from their earliest Celtic origins to the modern day, Sir Fitzroy MacLean - himself a Knight of the Thistle, Scotland's highest chivalric order - sheds light on the character and motivation of the clans and brings vividly to life their highly dramatic stories. The reproduction of early Scottish artefacts is exquisite. We especially love the Book of Deer, from the 9th century, an early example of a Gaelic manuscript which contains the complete gospel of St John and a number of fragments from other Gospels. Another favourite of ours is the chessmen, carved from walrus ivory in the mid-13th century and probably originating in Skye. Each mail-clad figure holds a sword in his right hand and a shield over his left. The volume omits nothing, from Robert the Bruce and Bannockburn, through the Lords of the Isles and the Clan Wars, on to the early Stuarts, the doomed Mary Queen of Scots, the Jacobite Risings of the 18th century, the tragic 19th century Clearances which so nearly meant the end of Scotland, and so to the present day. 276 softback pages, 23cm x 29cm, lavishly illustrated in brilliant colour, with Clan Glossary and Examples of Tartans.
Published price: $35
Bibliophile price: £16

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