How and more importantly why did Charles Edward, the Young Pretender, and his failed campaign of 1745, find such an enduring place in our popular memory.
How did a half-Polish prince, born in Rome, and speaking English with an Italian accent, become the Bonnie Prince Charlie of ballad, poem and song?
Charles was helped by his outstanding good looks and his presence and personal magnetism.
He had inherited a legend that had begun in 1688 when his grandfather, James II, fled to France. He had an unshakeable belief in his right to the Crown and his ability to repossess it. Brought up in a court of Jacobite exiles, his earliest memories were stories of the throne that, he considered, was rightfully his.
‘The Road to Culloden Moor’ explores two phases in Charles’ life. Firstly, the series of dazzling successes that took Charles within striking distance of London, but which culminated in the disaster of Culloden, the last battle fought on English soil.
Secondly – his escape after Culloden and his flight into the Highlands – the period which has fixed him so firmly into our collective consciousness.
From the victories to the defeats Diana Preston recounts Charles’s journey with historical accuracy and excitement.