Highland Warrior: Alasdair MacColla and the Civil Wars
Highland Warrior is a compelling and dramatic sweep through some of the most eventful years in Scottish history, told in a text both authoritative and highly readable. In 1644 James Grahame, Marquis of Montrose, stormed his way into legend with a series of astonishing victories over the Covenanters. At his side stalked a shadowy but terrible ally – Alasdair MacColla, who had a far more ancient agenda of his own. MacColla’s aim was nothing less than the effective destruction of the power of Clan Campbell and its replacement by the older overlordship of the Macdonalds. MacColla was the first – and perhaps the last – great Celtic general of modern times, who lived at a dynamic time which saw the increasingly forgotten and marginalised Gaelic speaking peoples of Scotland and Ireland nearly succeed in regaining control of their lands and destiny. The author argues that it was in fact MacColla and not Montrose who was the true architect of the ‘Year of Victories’, and that without his Highland ally, Montrose’s blunders would have doomed him to disaster, thus presenting a compelling and radical reappraisal of Scottish history during the crucial years of the 1640s.As MacColla’s actions were unwittingly to lead his people and culture to ruin, so his own career ended in chaos when, despite leading his own troops in a victorious charge, an incompetent general led him to defeat and death at Knocknanuss in Ireland.