Blood Stain'd Fields: Battles of East Lothian
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A fascinating and engaging exploration of "Scotland's Battle County"! Describing and analysing the military encounters that have taken place in East Lothian, this book shows how the main strands of Scottish history come together in this much fought-over county. From the saltire's first appearance (Athelstaneford 832), through bitter Anglo-Scots conflicts (Dunbar 1296 & 1650, Pinkie Cleugh 1547) and the trials of civil war (Carberry Hill 1567, Prestonpans 1745), East Lothian's experience of battle reflects the story of the nation. Alongside the great battles for which the county is famous, Johnston also discusses less well-known episodes, including sieges and skirmishes, which complete the picture. Throughout he draws on contemporary accounts to convey the atmosphere of battle and the evolution of weaponry, and reports on his visits to the sites of these conflicts today. Written to engage both local and visiting audiences in the heritage of East Lothian, and supported by maps, plans, and a series of striking original illustrations.
Top Customer Reviews
East Lothian became a battle field as it was the easiest way north for invaders (the terrain on the west was poor) and led to the capital Edinburgh.
The book ranges from the fighting between the Votadini and the Romans up to the Tranent massacre in 1797.
There are 9 battles bescribed -Pinkie,Carberry Hill,Prestonpans,Haddington,Athelstaneford,Bass Rock,Dunbar 1 and 2 and Piperdean.
All very well written and researched-a credit to the author.
The structure of the book is fairly standard, a general introduction followed by specific chapters on each battle, including details for visiting the sites today, make up the main meat of the book with an afterword and suggestions for further reading for those who may want to delve more deeply into a specific battle.
Nicely written, it is easy to follow the battles in detail as they rage without getting bogged down in some of the micro-arguments about terrain and tactics often found in such guides these days. These can easily be found elsewhere in other books recommended if you like that type of thing.
I would recommend it without hesitation to anyone interested in East Lothian and Scottish battlefields and general Scottish history.