THE PRIVATE PASSIONS OF BONNIE PRINCE CHARLIE by Hugh Douglas

THE PRIVATE PASSIONS OF BONNIE PRINCE CHARLIE

Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A full-dress revisiting of a romantic figure from Scottish history. Douglas, the author of 13 books, researched libraries in Scotland, England, France, and Italy to compose a richly detailed narrative of the extraordinary public and private lives of Charles Edward Stuart, son of James, pretender to the Scottish and English thrones. Charles grew up as a spoiled child in a loving but quarrelsome family, trained by his sad, moody father-in-exile. As Douglas puts it, the charismatic prince attracted numerous women but had problems returning their love. He became a hero by rousing hope among the men of the clans who opposed the Hanover king in London. Charles appears here as impetuous, mean-spirited, and ungrateful to his radical Jacobin supporters, who eventually abandoned him. He was accused of being badly educated, a haphazard leader with poor political awareness, and a failed diplomat with a quick temper, albeit a brave man. Advised to delay his rising until his forces strengthened, Charles ignored the advice and landed in Scotland, recruiting many clans and leading them to early victories over the English. He was forced to retreat to Culloden Moor, where a powerful English force under “Butcher” Cumberland massacred the army. Charles was barely spirited out of Scotland and into France by patriotic men and women. His later years are described here as involving a series of unions with high-born women whom he beat during drunken rages; he also sired “Queen” Charlotte, his only child to live. A stirring story of a lost but heroic cause.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-7509-1902-7
Page count: 320pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1998