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Sweet William or the Butcher?: The Duke of Cumberland and the '45 Hardcover – 19 May 2008

2.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Pen & Sword Military; First Edition edition (19 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844157547
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844157549
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 15.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 853,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

2.6 out of 5 stars
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Not an unbiased account, the very opposite in fact, even in the introduction he states "alleged atrocities" glossing over confirmed evidence if it does not fit his opinion, such as documented evidence cumberland sent to newcastle calling on the population to murder stragglers. The written orders to seize all cattle and livestock, needless to say I did not bother to finish this novel and filed it under fiction beside sir walter scott's " rob roy" at least he admits its fiction. No more by this author for me.
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Format: Hardcover
I have now had two attempts to buy this book and both copies neatly go from page 148 into a completely different book for about 15 pages until page 165, thus missing most of the last chapter. So check with you bookseller before you buy!

Pen and Sword can't tell me if this is a widespread problem, because they don't have a copy in the office to look at, but the fact the one copy was an Ex Lib from Cumbernauld Library makes me wonder how many are getting to the end of the book....
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Format: Hardcover
This book attempts to argue the point that perhaps the Duke of Cumberland's reputation as 'the Butcher' is undeserved and that he has been portrayed unfairly by history.In every aspect it fails.
You only have to read the various quotations used to realise that (as pointed out by a previous reviewer)this is a massively biased piece of work,using selective information which in any case fails to convince the reader to accept the author's opinion.Too many oversimplified opinions lacking hard evidence to back it up,this book contradicts hundreds of accounts of the government army's behaviour post-Culloden.It is rather alarming to read the authors opinion that this behaviour was required to bring the Jacobites to heel.
It is all very well looking at both points of view (Jacobite and Hanoverian)without 'sneering' at them,as a previous reviewer commented,it is also very easy for an author to declare his work to be unbiased,it is however another thing to put this impartiallity into practice and in this Jonathan Oates fails miserably.
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Format: Hardcover
Sweet William or The Butcher by Dr Johnathan Oates is a highly original account of the Duke of Cumberland, his character and conduct during the Jacobite Rising of 1745/46. The purpose of the book is to investigate and establish whether Cumberland deserves his lasting reputation of 'the Butcher' or if this epithet is somewhat undeserved. The question posed by the author on the front cover is essentially answered on the back-cover where his opinion becomes immediately evident. Professor W A Speck is is quoted as saying of Cumberland, "..he was rightly regarded as the conquering hero." Exactly where or whom did the Duke conquer? The Highlands? The Jacobite movement? Only a fraction of Highlanders rose in support of the Stuarts in 1745 and the Jacobite threat remained until the deterioration and eventual death of Charles Stuart in January 1788. Although this threat lacked substance in the latter years of Charles's life, the Hanoverian dynasty genuinely dreaded another rising which somewhat contradicts the view that Cumberland was a 'conquerer'.

Another author frequently referred to in the piece is Stuart Reid 'the leading authority on the subject of the '45' who refutes 'fashionable but silly assertions that the British army engaged in genocide or ethnic-cleansing.' The reasons Dr Oates uses to point to Reid's impartiallity are that he is Scottish and a Scots Nationalist therefore the review done on Amazon accusing him of 'Anti-Scottish racism' and 'white-washing the British army's actions after Culloden' are a load of old tosh. Scottish Nationalism at the time of the '45 was a convenient tool used by genuine supporters of the House of Stuart to promote and accumulate followers to their cause.
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