'An impossibly sad story' - THE SCOTSMAN 'A movingly re-imagined history' - FAMILY TREE
Blood on the Thistle is an examination of the life and times of a remarkable Scottish family, the Cranstons of Haddington, East Lothian. It focuses on a period from about 1880, when the young, hard-working parents, Alec and Lizzie Cranston, arrived in Haddington, through to 1920, when the family they had produced, torn apart by the effects of the Great War, broke up as its surviving members pursued separate lives around the globe.
Out of seven sons who served in the First World War, four died and two more were horrifically wounded; only one, the youngest, returned home physically unscathed. This book explores the effects of this extreme sacrifice on the sons themselves as well as the loved ones they left behind, particularly their mother, Lizzie, who mourned them for the rest of her days.
This is the tale of how a once proud and aspirational Scottish family was devastated by war, and how the effects continued to ripple through time and generations. Until, a century later, the threads of this remarkable family finally begin to be drawn together again, in a book that is at once a superb documentary account and a moving tribute to a generation.