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The Great Feud - The Campbells and the Macdonalds

Author Oliver Thomson
Details Soft Cover. Sutton Publishing Ltd. 206 pages
ISBN 075092800X

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Comment: A fairly superficial romp through the struggles between the Campbells and the Macdonalds for supremacy in the West, a good introduction nonetheless.


From Publishers Weekly. Although family feuds can take on lives of their own, rarely are they as long and treacherous as the rivalry between the Scottish clans, the Campbells and the MacDonalds. This lively ancestral adventure begins with a single ambush of a Campbell chief, Sir Colin Campbell, in 1296 by Lame John MacDougall (whose clan was closely allied with the MacDonalds), and spans nearly 450 years across the globe. The opposing clans were stalwart military and political powers, one side supporting the reigning royalty while the other opposed it. Thomson's enthusiasm shows in accounts of battles, such as the infamous Massacre of Glencoe and the 1745 Jacobite rebellion the latter resulting in such severe casualties that the two clans' power was finally broken. Thomson also tells colorful tales of individual acts of heroism and scandal. There is Flora MacDonald who aided in the escape of Prince Charles following the devastating Battle of Culloden in 1746 by having him dress as her maid and Alastair Ruadh MacDonell, a captain in the French Scots Brigade, who was accused after his death in 1761 of being the English spy known as Pickle. In the final section, Thomson follows the Campbells and the MacDonalds as they leave Scotland, and discovers descendants of the two clans emerging as heads of state, artists, poets, soldiers, criminals, sports figures and even the entrepreneurs who began McDonald's fast food chain and the Campbell Soup Company.

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