Jacobites: A New History of the ’45

Written by Jacqueline Riding
Review by Cindy Vallar

In August 1745, Charles Edward Stuart landed in the Scottish Highlands, intending to restore his exiled father, James, to the British throne. The Hanoverian army, under Prince William, Duke of Cumberland, had other plans. Some clan chiefs had pledged their support if Charles came with French military and financial support, but he came with only seven men. Still they raised the Jacobite standard at Glenfinnan and, for the next eight months, fought the last civil war on British soil. Rather than a conflict between Highlanders and Lowlanders, Catholics and Protestants, or the English and the Scots, both sides were comprised of all these and more, and this new chronological history places the rebellion in international, national, and local context. The rising began with unparalleled success, reached as far south as Derby, and ended with devastating consequences that are still remembered today.

Using memoirs, letters, and other period documents, Riding provides a well-rounded history for lay readers that presents the last Jacobite uprising from both perspectives and without a lot of technical jargon and military maps. The published version will include a color insert and an index, neither of which was available in the pre-publication galley.