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A LOAD OF RUBBISH
on 18 May 2014
Since he cannot draw the Pelstream or anything else, of course Moffat does not understand this battle at all. The Pelstream rises in 12 springs on Gillies Hill but is also fed by the top third of Halbert's Bog of which he is blissfully ignorant.
This is a nice looking book. What a pity it is all nonsense. Where did Moffat get his mistaken idea of the Pelstream? From Watson whose idiotic report for the Council made the same mistake. What is the reason for this rubbish? Birlinn's first principle in choosing a book to publish is: will it sell? Since Birlinn will believe that nothing can be known finally about this, of course any old rubbish will do, preferably the same rubbish the Scottish people have been fed for centuries. The idea that the problems have been completely solved and proved is beyond the arrogance of Birlinn. They were offered my book 'Bannockburn Proved' ten years ago and did not bother to read it because they deemed it 'uncommercial', even though the cover contained fulsome praise by historians, QC's and other brilliant minds that the entire matter had been finally resolved. How stupid to ignore that and reject such a book!
What matters here are a few questions.
1. Where were the battles of day 1 fought?
2. Where was the main battle of day 2 fought?
3. What was the strategy and the tactics?
4. What methods were employed to achieve success?
5. What is the fully justified map of the area in 1314? [That took me hundreds of visits to the battle area and 120,000 words in six books to justify, writing it up like a lab experiment]
6. What are the sources that lead to the conclusions? About 14 are valuable, 8 of them written within days of the battle.
7. What are the discontinuities and how are they resolved? There are five in all, every one tiny but significant. The resolution is wondrously illuminating! When completed, everything is clear for the first time.
8. What psychology is necessary to deal successfully with the sources: Bartlett's work at Cambridge with undergraduates on the effects of conveying the story of an event.
9. You need to prove everything. Bannockburn Proved (2005) has six proofs of the site of battle, one a single sentence with a page of quotation. The best is 'The Genius of Bannockburn' GB. 'Bannockburn Revealed' BR is also valuable, has the sources, translated and analysed, issue by issue, a matchless procedure.
10. The most important result (See p214 BR, published 2000): Robert Bruce, King of Scots, led the entire Scottish army on foot, everyone on foot, to within yards of the English cavalry lines camped in the Carse. Proof? See p31,32 GB. That conclusion, established in the year 2000 has been available for fifteen years. But Birlinn and his authors have yet to read it and absorb its implications. How appalling that publishing rubbish because it will sell should be preferred to the dissemination of the truth. I spent 24 years on this subject, half of it full time. I spent over 3 years just making the maps. Of course they are accurate. Everything of mine has been confirmed by many very able people.
Moffat does not even understand the necessity for such questions, still less that the answers are available, the problems solved. Publishers who foul up the literature by worthless books are worthless.