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Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Bedtime Reading

Last week my bedtime reading was Jane Odiwe's ’s lovely new novel ‘Willoughby’s Return,’ which I can thoroughly recommend if you want to lose yourself in the world of Jane Austen.

This week I’ve been reading the Chevalier de Johnstone's’s ‘Memoir of the ‘45’, so I was very interested to see Neil Oliver’s History of Scotland programme on the Jacobite rebellions last night, especially as we have visited Culloden Moor, Ruthven Barracks and some of the other places mentioned while on holiday. If you read Johnstone’s eyewitness account, it is amazing how many chances Bonnie Prince Charlie threw away, and how close we came to living under the Stuarts today.

It must be really difficult choosing images to illustrate some events, and I nearly laughed out loud at one point. Oliver talked about Queen Anne’s death and showed her gasping out her last breath, and I was somehow irresistibly reminded of Pan’s People’s 0ver-literal interpretation of song lyrics! Not very appropriate for a monarch’s death.

Once again Neil Oliver treated us to sublime Highland scenery, and related the tragedy of the ’15 and ’45 rebellions and their aftermath with gusto. But it was the story of the Act of Union – in which Scotland sold its independence for English gold – which seemed to touch Oliver most deeply.
Image: Memorial at Culloden. © Sue and Nigel Wilkes.

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