Bonnie Prince Charlie: A Biography of Charles Edward Stuart

Susan MacLean Kybett, Author Dodd Mead $24.95 (343p) ISBN 978-0-396-08496-9
Kybett was granted access to the Stuart papers, which, according to the author, contain never-before-published information on exiled Catholic King James II of Great Britain and Ireland, grandfather of Charles, the Young Pretender. Born in 1720 in Rome, Charlie was not so bonnie as legend romanticizes him but a selfish, mean traitor to the Highland Scots who fought to make him king, displacing the usurping Hanover. Although other historians have been equally judgmental of the cowardly prince, who deserted his partisans at the Battle of Culloden, few express the anger of Kybett, a native Scot, particularly in describing the fate of the loyal Highlanders. Unfortunately, her writing is sometimes flawed by such slips as ""they could have gone to the Hanoverian camp with no impunity.'' The biography, however, succeeds in illuminating the 18th century as affected by the Young Pretender who died in 1788 with few to mourn him. Illustrations not seen by PW. (February)
Reviewed on: 02/01/1988
Release date: 02/01/1988
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