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Jacobites: A New History of the '45 Rebellion

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  131 ratings  ·  23 reviews
The Jacobite Rebellion of 1745-46 is one of the most important turning points in British history - in terms of state crisis every bit the equal of 1066 and 1940. The tale of Charles Edward Stuart, "Bonnie Prince Charlie," and his heroic but doomed attempt to regain his grandfather's (James II) crown - remains the stuff of legend: the hunted fugitive, Flora MacDonald, and ...more
Hardcover, 588 pages
Published July 5th 2016 by Bloomsbury Press (first published April 12th 2016)
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Michael Absolutely. I wrote a review in which I mentioned the small print. I had to give up from time to time myself, and it made the reading last a lot…moreAbsolutely. I wrote a review in which I mentioned the small print. I had to give up from time to time myself, and it made the reading last a lot longer than it ordinarily would have. I actually got my copy in Scotland, at the store at Culloden. Then, I discovered that the book is available on Kindle, so that is a possible work-around, (less)
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3.5 stars.

I picked this one up after visiting Scotland on holiday last month, although admittedly, I've had it on my reading list for a while and have just never gotten around to reading it.

I found it a bit overwhelming at times - at over 600 pages, there's a ton of detail, that, if you're a relative newcomer to the period like myself, can often bog down the reading experience. There's A LOT of people to keep track of, and Riding, while she does her best, doesn't always make it easy to remember
Maggie Craig
Jun 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
There is no shortage of books on the Jacobites of 1745. If any author or historian is going to write another one, they have to be bringing something new to the table. Jacqueline Riding has done exactly that, offering a fresh and vivid account of the events of 1745-46 and the personalities of those involved.

Her approach is straightforward and her book very well structured. She tells the tale from beginning to end, dividing her chapters by geographical location of the main events within them.
Nick Lloyd
Mar 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
An interesting book about a subject that I knew very little about, despite a direct family connection to the Jacobite rebellions. This is a textbook case of how to fail at your military campaign. "The 45" started without much in the way of foreign support (France would not commit to a landing in SE England; critical for Jacobite success), without arms or supplies, and without even a coherent plan of what they intended to do (become King of independent Scotland? King of Great Britain?). They ...more
Chris Chester
Dec 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
The '45 rebellion was a lot of things. It was the last invasion of British soil. It was the last war involving the Scottish clans. It was the last gasp of the Stuart dynasty.

For the MacInnes branch of my family tree it was also the impetus to emigrate to North American and specifically Nova Scotia.

As part of an ongoing project to rethink the notion of whiteness that I was raised into, I'm trying to reclaim some sense of cultural identity by exploring my ancestral history. Jacqueline Riding's
Apr 22, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars Full disclosure, I read this book because I've been hooked into the Outlander series lately. For filling in the background of the rebellion that the show/series glosses over, it was excellent. I really appreciated how this book put the rebellion in the context of the larger War of Austrian Succession, which the books completely ignore. The background on Prince Charles was very interesting as well. What I struggled with was the over-reliance on letters as the main source for the book. ...more
Justin Permenter
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
Just way, way, WAY too much unnecessary detail.
Octavia Pearce
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
Expected this to be really interesting because I know next to nothing about the later Stuart/early Hanoverian period, but this is not an enjoyable book to read. Way too much dependence on quotation from letters, which is particularly unnecessary when they're from some random dude who happens to live somewhere nearby counting the number of horses moving around and he's sending it to someone equally unimportant. The chapters are all really short and disjointed, and there's no map so you unless you ...more
Jessica Jeffers
Jun 01, 2017 marked it as to-read
Shelves: mcpl, nonfiction
I have an ancestor who fought with the Jacobites at Culloden and, after the defeat, was punished by being sent to the colonies. So I want to learn more about my family history!
Adam Stevenson
Nov 18, 2017 rated it liked it
The low(ish) score is no comment on the quality of the book, it is a very good book but not one attuned to my tastes.

Although I am a fond reader of history, particularly literary and lowlife/social stuff, I haven’t really read any military history with the exception of ‘The Recollections of Rifleman Harris’ which was more a memoir of one man’s experiences. This book was my first of this kind of thing.

Jacobites is a thorough work, clearly well researched, adopting an even tone that feels fair in
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I recently discovered the breadth of my Scottish heritage. My bride and I believe I am descended form the Clan Ranald branch of the Clan MacDonald (I don't know if I am getting the terminology right; I'm still new at this). These discoveries have made me want to immerse myself in all things Scottish; hence, this book.

And what a book. I admire anyone who publishes a book, but my admiration goes through the ceiling when an author clearly demonstrates that they have done their homework. Through
W. Brown
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
A strength of the book is the inclusion of contemporary material quoted verbatim which really brings the scenes to life. The structure of the book works well and brings the narrative together with influential events taking place in multiple locations. The tricky task of describing the deployment of regiments and forces in the various battles and military actions was well accomplished which is just as well given the lack of maps or illustrative diagrams. In a similar vein, the general lack of ...more
Susan Lorenz
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book which tells a complex story in a simple and straightforward manner. As noted by another reviewer, I was attracted to this book based on my interest in the "Outlander" TV series. I was pleased to learn that several characters in the show were actual real life Highlanders. However Bonnie Prince Charlie is shown in a much better and I assume more correct light in the book as a thoughtful young leader of men trying to restore his father to his rightful throne. The TV show portrays him ...more
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When read in conjunction with books like Duffy's 'The 45', this book adds lots of new details to the story of the last Jacobite Rising and therefore is a valuable addition to my bookcase (!!!) on the Jacobites.

The book contains lots of details about the historical characters, places and events, painting a very vivid and lively story of the '45, based on a great wealth of available literature. Riding tries not take sides, resulting in refreshing insights and interesting conclusions.
T P Kennedy
This is a very good straightforward account of the '45. It's particularly good in tracing the motivations of the main players and explaining the sudden collapse of the rebellion. While a long book it could have been longer. It stops immediately without tracing or accounting for the subsequent lives of the survivors. This is well written but not the most gripping account - it's very much history served up a cold factual narrative.
Peter Harrison
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
A superb narrative history of the '45 Jacobite rebellion. Told from primary sources it gives a real sense of the flow of events, and the situation on each side as the story unfolds. Not perhaps an in depth exploration of the detail, but for the non-specialist in the period (ie. me) a great introduction.
Sarah Anne
Oct 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a great book for people unfamiliar with the '45 rebellion and its background. Riding guides the reader through history using correspondence and newspaper articles, a touch that serves to make her account more vivid and entertaining than others.
Haven't completely given up on this yet but it is so incredibly detailed. Even as someone who got an undergrad degree in history and is interested in Scottish history, it's too much. I'll probably try to come back to it in stages but for the moment I'm setting it aside.
Susan J.
Jun 23, 2017 rated it liked it
I appreciated the author’s attention to detail…although I had a hard time keeping everyone’s names straight! I thought I knew a lot about Bonnie Prince Charlie and the 1745 rebellion, but I was wrong. I learned more about the background motivations for both sides.
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved it, learnt so much
Gumble's Yard
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016
The book covers the intrigues between Prince Charles, his father’s court in exile and their French hosts and allies, leading to a landing in Scotland against the advices of most of his advisors and supporters. It then covers his early successes in rallying loyal (although wary after past defeats and dismayed at his lack of firm evidence of either a French invasion or English Jacobite uprising) Highland loyalist army and with it overrunning the complacent and unprepared establishment forces in ...more
Interesting topic, but rather slow. The author at points focuses too much on small details, which slows the pace to a standstill. Conversely, details about the engagements are extremely brief, rarely stretching beyond two or three pages.

A very difficult read, but the amount of information gathered, the book cannot be ignored as a brilliant reference for information.

On a side note, sometimes it feels like the author gives the Jacobites too hard a time, and places blame ad hoc on different
Aug 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I wish I had written it, then, I wished I was capable of writing it. History at its best.
Jason Wilson
Jan 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very good account of this period.
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Dr Jacqueline Riding is an English art historian, historian, adviser and author. She specialises in British history and art of the long eighteenth century. She is an experienced adviser and consultant for museums, historic buildings and film. She was the historical and art historical consultant for Mike Leigh’s award-winning feature film Mr. Turner (2014) and his new film Peterloo (2018).
“The more radical presbyterians (known as Covenanters, derisively nicknamed ‘whiggamores’ or ‘cattle drivers’ from where the term ‘Whig’ probably derives) had refused to support the reintroduction of Episcopalianism, while many Presbyterian families (such as the Forbeses of Culloden), during the seventeenth-century civil wars, had supported the Parliamentarians against Charles I, and then Oliver Cromwell’s Commonwealth: as a result all had suffered greatly at the hands of Charles II and then James VII after the restoration of the monarchy.” 0 likes
“I shall chuse to leave my bones among you.’ In” 0 likes
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