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On the Trail of the Real Macbeth, King of Alba (On the Trail of) Paperback – 1 Sep 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 185 pages
  • Publisher: Luath Press Ltd; Ill edition (1 Sep 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906307318
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906307318
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 1 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 522,823 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Cameron Taylor and Alistair Murray have designed and developed the King Macbeth project www.kingmacbeth.com based on the real history of Macbeth, King of Alba, storytelling across landscapes and media. Cameron Taylor followed his history degree with a career in the Civil Service before returning to his native Orkney to become CEO of Orkney Tourist Board. His first book, Rooted in Scotland, was published by Luath Press in 2007. He now lives in Moray where Macbeth's ghost still haunts the landscape. Alistair Murray established Atlantic Marketing in 2004 after a varied career spanning three continents and ranging from oil exploration to running manufacturing and media companies. He pursues a number of interests in the creative industries and undertakes strategic consultancy from his Caithness base, in the far north of Scotland, where surging Atlantic tides wash the jagged edge of Europe.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Casley TOP 500 REVIEWER on 4 April 2013
Format: Paperback
Neither Cameron Taylor nor Alistair Murray are professional historians (although Taylor did do his degree in the subject), so `On the Trail of the Real Macbeth' is more a project for the visitor, using old (book) and new (internet) technologies to guide both actual and armchair tourists around the scenes of Macbeth's life and times. The authors are marketing consultants.

The book is attractively presented with an excellent map of Scotland showing places mentioned in their text. In addition there are fifteen monochrome plates in the centre of the book; a good biographical index for reference; a chronology; and a list of books for further reading. In many respects then, this book is a good reference for source material. The text itself comprises an introduction and seven chronological chapters.

Given the paucity of documentary evidence, the authors still rightly point out that enough survives to contradict Shakespeare's portrayal of the king. Indeed, a whole page is given over to a schematic demonstration of six fundamental contradictions between history and the playwright. Nevertheless, "With so little evidence to go on there are no absolutes, only possibilities and probabilities ... We have chosen to tell a story that we believe to be true but we have shown the sources of our ideas."

Arguing that the king's real story is as compelling as Shakespeare's, their book "uses the available evidence to try and place Macbeth's story in the actual landscapes where the events ... occurred. It tells Macbeth's story alongside a detailed touring itinerary." Indeed, the historical-marketing aspect of their work is made manifest in a proposed eight-day touring itinerary that takes up twenty-seven pages towards the book's end.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is not supposed to be a scholarly account of the bona fide history of MacBeth and it is with relief I can say it isn't. It's readable and informative. Later this year I will be travelling on much of the same route and because of the quality of this book I feel more able to apply what I've learned and enjoy what I see, surely the reason for writing the book in the first place. The maps and sketches gave me quite a jolt because I didn't realize the geographical area that MacBeth affected. It means I'll have to make more than one trip to the North of Scotland. What a lovely thought.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
On the Trail of the Real MacBeth, King of Alba 28 Jan 2011
By Lisa Schureman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The thing that first impressed me when I opened this book was the table that prefaced the rest of the book detailing the differences between the historical MacBeth and Shakespeare's creation. Then you have the history of MacBeth, the evolution of Shakespeare's character, and at the very back a travel guide. When in Scotland you could quite literally follow in the footsteps of the only Northern King of Alba, though the places may look a bit different than when he was there.
Five Stars 25 July 2014
By Nancy J. Beatty - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This little book was very handy on my trip to Scotland
Five Stars 2 Oct 2014
By sammy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
great book
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