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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enlightenment, 8 Jan. 2010
By 
Clanranald (Highlands, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Jacobite Clans of the Great Glen, 1650-1784 (Paperback)
This book examines the Jacobite Clans of the Great Glen in the period of time which followed Montrose's wars, encompassing the Jacobite Risings and on up to the period when the Highland Clearances were looming large on the horizon. The book closely looks at the complex and uneasy relationship which existed between clans such as the MacDonalds of Keppoch, the Camerons, Frasers and Grants during this time.

The infamous Simon Fraser of Lovat features prominently throughout the book and Lenman gives a thorough account of the rogue chief's many dealings and double-dealings in playing many of these clans against each other for his own benefit. The author uses an abundance of evidence to describe Lovat's adventures and clearly gets the point across that this was a highly intelligent, ambitious individual who had much influence over smaller clans in this particular area at that time.

Lenman ably portrays the complex political landscape brought about by the Jacobite wars and what persuaded many of the 'smaller' clans, such as those found in the Great Glen, to rally to Charles Stuart's standard. The author argues persuasively that self-interest and economic hardship were fundamental motivations for these clans, hemmed in geographically by the Campbells to the south and pro-goverment clans to the north, to side with the Jacobites. The fact that family loyalties were far from being clear-cut is well demonstrated by the author in his chapters involving Ludovic Grant (who was pro-Hanoverian) and his clansmen in the Great Glen, many of whom were Jacobites.

At times this book is a bit of a drag with perhaps too much attention being payed to Lovat and his political ambitions. I found myself wishing to read more about intriguing characters such as Coll MacDonald of Keppoch and the Camerons of Lochiel whom I feel would have contributed much to the study. It is however invaluable reading for those seeking a deeper understanding of Jacobite clans, their way of life and their motivations for risking so much on a distant monarch. Bruce Lenman has produced a fine book, highly recommended for those seeking detailed study on the subject and perhaps may be surprising to those who may not fully appreciate just how difficult these times were.
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The Jacobite Clans of the Great Glen, 1650-1784
The Jacobite Clans of the Great Glen, 1650-1784 by Bruce Lenman (Paperback - Mar. 1995)
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