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A JACOBITE BOOK LAUNCH – White Cockades, Targes, Swords, and CAKE!


Inside the Central Library of Edinburgh, Children’s Department, it was bright and cosy, despite the terrible rain and windy weather outside.  Gathered together were friends, family and readers, all  come to celebrate the launch of  my new book

The Dangerous Lives of the Jacobites.

It is always fun to have a bit of a party to welcome a new book onto the shelves and my excellent young helpers, Abigail, Poppy and Isla offered everyone a white cockade to wear as they arrived.

The white cockade was the white rose symbol of the Jacobites. Often the women of the time would make them from white ribbons or cloth and they would sew them on their dresses, and the men might would wear them on their bonnets, to show support for Bonnie Prince Charlie.  We also had little swords and targes ( shields) for children to decorate and take home with them.

Rob, Aggie and wee Meggie

We had hoped that the illustrator Darren Gate, would be there to draw while I was reading, but sadly the weather was so bad he got stuck on the road and eventually had to turn back.

He did get a round of applause for his excellent illustrations but I know he was disappointed not to be able to be there to celebrate the book with us, especially after working so hard on it.

I was introduced by Sally Polson, my lovely editor, who asked me if I would speak a little about life in the 18th Century.

There is so much in the book about life at the time and the research was fascinating.  There are facts, maps and diagrams of battles, but I did particularly enjoy writing the story; as we follow  one of the main characters, young Rob, and his father when they go off to join the Jacobite Army and Bonnie Prince Charlie at Glenfinnan. They march with the army south to Edinburgh, to the battle of Prestonpans.

The story follows them all the way through England to Derby where they turned back and marched up north again, and finally to the ill fated battle of Culloden.

Meanwhile the story also follows Aggie, Rob’s younger sister, their mother, grandmother and their little sister, wee Meggie. We learn about life in the blackhouse and when they go also up in the sheilings when the weather got a bit better.  Aggie hears about some of the previous uprisings from the older women, just as Rob is hearing battle stories from the seasoned soldiers around the army campfires.

I was fascinated by researching the herbs and plants they used for day to day life and for medicines. So I spoke about that for a bit and then Sally interviewed and I had a bit of fun, with her questions.

We had some excellent questions from the audience and of course it wouldn’t be a book launch without a cake!


Many thanks to everyone who came along and also to the great team from the publisher, Floris Books, who all worked hard to make sure everything went well.

Here is Ali who was in charge of the books and I was able to use my new stamp when I signed them.




Rob and Aggie






This entry was posted on Sunday, October 20th, 2019 at 9:08 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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