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  • Published: 28 January 2021
  • ISBN: 9781473546097
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 432


Battle & Aftermath

Paul O'Keeffe details the fate of the Jacobite in one of the most brutal battles in British domestic history, the battle of Culloden, which still resonate in today's fight for Scottish Independence

'As vivid as the Ten O'Clock News... fascinating, detailed, meticulously researched... tremendous' Daily Mail

Charles Edward Stuart's campaign to seize the British throne on behalf of his exiled father ended with one of the quickest defeats in history: on 16 April 1746, at Culloden, his 5,000-strong Jacobite army was decisively overpowered in under forty minutes. Its brutal repercussions, however, endured for months and years, its legacy for centuries.

Paul O'Keeffe follows the Jacobite army, from its initial victories over Hanoverian troops at Prestonpans, Clifton and Falkirk to their calamitous defeat on the field of Culloden. He explores the battle's aftermath which claimed the lives, not only of helpless wounded summarily executed and fugitives cut down by pursuing dragoons, but also of civilians slaughtered by vengeful government patrols as they 'pacified' the Highlands. He chronicles the wild, nationwide celebration greeting news of the government victory, the London stage catering to patriotic fervour with new songs like 'God Save the King', popular musical theatre, and operas by Gluck and Handel.

Meanwhile, the public was also treated to the grimmer spectacle of Jacobite prisoners, tried for high treason, paying for their participation on block and gibbet throughout the country. Many others - granted 'the King's mercy' - suffered the lingering fate of forced labour on fever-ridden plantations in the West Indies and Virginia.

O'Keeffe reveals the unexpected consequences of the rising - mapping the Scottish Highlands to aid military subjugation would eventually lead to the foundation of the Ordnance Survey - and traces the later careers of the battle's protagonists: the Duke of Cumberland's transformation from idolised national hero to discredited 'butcher'; Charles Edward Stuart's from 'Bonny Prince' to embittered alcoholic invalid.

While in the long term the doomed Stuart cause acquired an aura of romanticism, the Jacobite Rising of 1745-46 remains one of the most bloody and divisive conflicts in British domestic history, which resonates to this day.

  • Published: 28 January 2021
  • ISBN: 9781473546097
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 432

About the author

Paul O'Keeffe

Paul O'Keeffe is a lecturer and writer based in Liverpool. His acclaimed books include Some Sort of Genius: A Life of Wyndham Lewis, A Genius for Failure: The Life of Benjamin Robert Haydon and, most recently, Waterloo: The Aftermath.

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Praise for Culloden

A fascinating portrait of 18th-century Britain as an age of elegance and brutality... I recommend this book strongly

Allan Massie, Scotsman

[Paul O'Keeffe] brings the last battle on British soil to life with page-turning vivacity

Graeme Thomson, Mail on Sunday

O'Keeffe gives an excellent, visceral account of the one-sided battle... It is a tremendous tale - one of the most dramatic in our island's history - and O'Keeffe tells it beautifully, deploying a wide variety of sources to impressive effect

Saul David, The Times

A fascinating, meticulously researched, often brutally detailed account of a short episode in British history, the repercussions of which are still felt hundreds of years later... without being there, those times could not be more vividly brought to life than in this tremendous book

Roger Alton, Daily Mail

As vivid as the Ten O'Clock News... fascinating, detailed, meticulously researched... tremendous

Daily Mail

Intensely readable... [and] vividly written

Neal Ascherson, London Review of Books

With his account of the crushing defeat of Jacobite forces, Paul O'Keeffe's Culloden promises poignant reading in a year when, in the wake of Brexit and forthcoming Scottish Parliament elections, the issue of Scottish independence is set to loom large on the UK political agenda

Frederick Studemann and Laura Battle, Financial Times, *Books to Look Out For 2021*

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