Recent films like Braveheart and Rob Roy have helped to reinforce the popular image of Scotland as a land of kilts and clans, tartans, pipes, and proud fighting Highlanders. In fact, when we think of Scotland, it is usually the Highlands we think of, even though this ruggedly beautiful region comprises only the extreme northerly part of the country. A "considerable race of hillmen" whose language and customs differed radically from other inhabitants of the British Isles, the Highlanders were systematically persecuted by the British and mistrusted by the Lowland Scots. The April 26, 1746 battle of Culloden ended not only the Scottish nation but the clan system itself, leading to the despoilation of the Highlands and the dispersion of its people around the world. Michael Brander's lively history focuses on those who stayed behind, who found an outlet for their fighting spirit in the Highland regiments of the British army, where their traditions survived to become a proud national legacy. Using battle accounts from the 18th and 19th centuries, Brander is able to illustrate Highlander customs and manners, and reveals their proud, haunting echo in modern Scotland.
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