Clan Donald

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Highland Warrior - Alasdair MacColla and the Highland Problem in the 17th Century

Author David Stevenson
Details Hardback. Publisher: John Donald, Edinburgh, 324 pages.
ISBN 0859765636

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The author of this most welcome book, who is a lecturer in history at the University of Aberdeen, analyses the changes which took place in the Highlands in the 17th century by using Gaelic poetry, prose and oral tradition together with the more conventional historical sources, to trace the career of Montrose's Lieutenant-General (the author calls him Major-General) Sir Alexander MacDonald, better known by his Gaelic name of Alasdair MacColla Chiotaich, i.e., Alexander, son of Coll the Ambidexterous, probably the most celebrated of all the Clan Donald warriors. He emerges as a man who before, during and after his year with Montrose, fought for his family and clan and for the Highland and Irish Gaelic world against Lowland and English superiority. His inspiration gave Montrose a Highland and Irish Gaelic Army; and by introducing the Highland Charge he provided the Highlanders with the devastating military tactic which brought them repeated victory on the battlefield from 1644 to 1746, with the exception of Culloden where the circumstances were very different. No serious student of Highland or Clan Donald history should be without a copy.  N.H.M.

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