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Stone of Destiny: A Passenger's Guide [Kindle Edition]

Ian R. Hamilton , Ian R. Hamilton
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Book Description

This title is now a major Hollywood film starring Robert Carlyle and Billy Boyd. Ian Robertson Hamilton was an unknown law student at Glasgow University until Christmas Eve 1950. On that night, assisted by Alan Stewart, Gavin Vernon and Kay Matheson, he took the Stone of Destiny from beneath the Coronation Chair in Westminster Abbey and in doing so became a Scottish national hero. In England, however, the act had the opposite effect and a manhunt for the 'vulgar vandals' was started to satisfy the outrage of the English establishment and bring them to justice. In the end, the Stone was given up, but the gang were not charged. This solitary act set Hamilton on a path for the rest of his life from which he has not diverged. Although, it is now nearly sixty years since that fateful night, it is the actual events surrounding the taking of the Stone which hold people spellbound when Hamilton recounts them.In this book, Ian Hamilton has set down the chain of events which led to his decision to go to London, remove the Stone and a minute-by-minute account of the act and the aftermath. But this is not simply a retelling of a stunt that made nationwide news, it is a book about how a nation's conscience was stirred by a symbolic act that changed lives of many.

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Product Description

About the Author

Ian R Hamilton, best known for his part in the repatriation of the Stone of Destiny, was one of Scotland's most prominent lawyers, famously refusing to swear allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II arguing that she could only be referred to as Queen Elizabeth in Scotland. Born in Paisley in 1925, the son of a tailor, he studied law at Glasgow University where he first became politically active. He was a member of Glasgow University Scottish Nationalist Association and the Scottish Covenant Association, going on to stand as a Scottish Nationalist Party candidate and serve as Rector of Aberdeen University.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 638 KB
  • Print Length: 213 pages
  • Publisher: Birlinn; New Ed. / edition (23 May 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006WB2DWO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #62,282 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant read 3 Sept. 2009
This is a great story - and true one - of four Glasgow university students who liberated the Stone of Destiny from Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day, 1950. The author was one of those students and he wrote the book shortly afterwards, but this edition includes his more recent thoughts about that time.

It's a cracking adventure story that's told with humour and a real passion for the Scotland he so clearly loves. I simply couldn't put it down. In the update he wrote for the book in 2007, Ian Hamilton accuses himself of arrogance in some of his earlier writing, but I didn't see that.

If you're a Scot and haven't read this story, buy it. If you're not, buy it anyway. It's the closest you'll ever come to understanding what the Stone - and Scotland - mean to the Scots.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An undervalued Scottish hero 8 Dec. 2012
By David
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was a schoolboy in Glasgow when the Stone of Destiny was liberated from England and I still remember the pride and joy I felt when the thrilling news was announced. Ian Hamilton has written a factual and detailed account of the event in a deeply and obviously heartfelt way. His trepidation and fears at what he and his friends were planning alongside the elation they felt when the Stone was safely back on Scottish soil are all clearly described as well as the minutiae of the actual retrieving of the Stone provide a very human narrative. Yet Ian Hamilton's book is also an inspiration, demonstrating what a small group of intelligent, dedicated people can achieve for their country, if they have the will. Today the Stone of Destiny sits alongside the Scottish Crown Jewels in Edinburgh Castle. Ian Hamilton, in writing this book, was not trying to rival Walter Scott or R.L Stevenson,t, nevertheless he has written a really good yarn as well as a history book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly Enjoyable Read 18 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
My parents weren't even born, far less myself, when the recovery of the Stone of Destiny took place but I had been aware of the bare bones of the story if not the full ins and outs.

By quirk of fate I happened to be on the lookout for a title about Scottish history and around that time read of the passing of Kay Matheson, one of the group involved in the Stone's recovery, and was drawn to Ian Hamilton's book.

I have to say I found it a thoroughly enjoyable and absorbing read. Certainly for a Scot its an inspiring tale and passion for their country that drove Hamilton and his group to undertake such a mission will resonate with many with the Independence Referendum looming in 2014.

Regardless of your political persuasions however it remains a fantastic tale, full of adventure, excitement, risk and reward.

Well worth a read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great first hand account 10 Aug. 2012
By markr TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a fascinating first hand account of the recovery of the Stone of Destiny, upon which Scottish Kings were crowned, from Westminster Abbey in 1950. Written by Ian Hamilton, the leader of the group of students who carried out the removal of the stone from Westminster Abbey and then returned it to Scotland, this reads like a thriller. I was left wondering how they ever succeeded, and marvelling at their courage and determination.

A good read which will stir emotions - particularly if you are Scottish
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stone of Destiny - Kindle Edition 22 Jun. 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A gripping tale that somehow captures and holds the attention like a thriller novel even with awareness of the outcome. The mid-century, post-war setting is vividly portrayed, both in terms of the societal norms of the time and the infrastructure depicted - e.g. "4 hours to drive 100 miles" on empty roads brings the realisation that events are taking place in a pre-motorway Britain. This is a tale of a determined group indeed, when you consider the gruelling journeys undertaken.

Hamilton's vocabulary is sprinkled with auld Scots' words that I found a delight to look up as I read. If anything, the words he uses and the style of writing further serve to immerse the reader in events as they unfolded.

I'm rounding 4.5 up to a 5, as, at odds with the rest of the rousing tale, the book ends a little flatly for me. The reason being is that it seems Ian Hamilton loses interest in events himself as soon as he isn't the centre of the story. I can forgive that, seeing is the rest of the book is a first person, eye-witness account and he cannot give the same clarity to events he did not partake in.

In summary; the plan, the stumbling execution, and the cosmic coincidences that helped it succeed, are all worthy of the time it takes to read this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and factual 3 April 2010
A true story, very entertainingly told by the main participant, Ian Hamilton QC.
I know it is true, because I remember the event. Christmas eve 1950, I was on my first leave from the Royal Air force, stuck in a transport cafe, as a result of snow and Ice. This story will be remembered in Scottish folk lore history. A film,
"Stone of Destiny" was made of the book,directed by Charles Martin Smith, now on DVD,( also available from Amazon ) with a great cast. I cant recommend both these highly enough. BRILLIANT!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Recommend this highly 21 July 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very readable- a real page turner! Although I was well aware of the events hadn't known the whole story. Real boy's own stuff! Recommend this highly! If you're Scottish you'll enjoy all the more!
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