Category: Historical Articles


  Ever since the decision was taken by Prince Charles’ council on 5th December 1745 to turn back at Derby instead of continuing on to London, a decision that ultimately led to the catastrophic defeat at Culloden, historians have debated whether or not the Stuarts could have taken the throne back had they continued. In Book Four of the Jacobite Chronicles, my hero Alex MacGregor is wholeheartedly in favour of continuing to London, and on the decision going against him, states that everything he’s fought his whole life for was for nothing. I don’t always agree with my characters’ opinions, […]

Posted May 14, 2018 by Julia in Blogs, Historical Articles / 6 Comments


If you listen to all the legends about the Jacobite Rising of 1745-6, there are two main answers to the question – firstly because they were driven purely by loyalty to the House of Stewart, which was a Scottish royal house, or secondly that Prince Charles was so incredibly charismatic that after landing in Scotland in July 1745, he managed to single-handedly persuade all the clan chiefs to bring their clansmen out for him. Either way, the image conjured up is of hordes of kilted clansmen descending on Glenfinnan from all over the Highlands, armed to the teeth and eager […]

Posted April 30, 2018 by Julia in Blogs, Historical Articles, Uncategorized / 7 Comments


  My mother bought me my first kilt when I was about seven. I loved it and wore it everywhere. My kilt was patterned in the rich scarlet, blue, gold and green of the Royal Stewart tartan. My mother explained to me that anyone who was a subject of the Queen was allowed to wear this tartan, but apart from that the only other tartan I could wear was the Gordon tartan, because we were Gordons through her grandmother’s side of the family.   When I later received a kilt in the Gordon tartan for Christmas to wear at a […]

Posted February 28, 2018 by Julia in Blogs, Historical Articles / 4 Comments


This blog post is just about the garments the Highlanders wore throughout history. In a separate one I’ll look at the history of tartan as a pattern. Male Highlanders. As a child I lived in Manchester, a big industrial town in the north of England. My father was English, my mother a fiercely proud and homesick Scot. Because my father worked all night and slept all day, he was a somewhat shadowy figure in my life, and I was almost exclusively raised by my mother. Consequently I also became a fiercely proud and homesick Scot, who longed for the mountains […]

Posted October 27, 2017 by Julia in Blogs, Historical Articles / 2 Comments


    Ever since I published the first book in the Jacobite Chronicles series, Mask of Duplicity, I’ve periodically received messages from readers wanting to know more about the cosmetics that were used at the time, particularly Sir Anthony Peters’ makeup, which is such a distinctive feature of the fashionable baronet. So I thought I’d write a blog about it. Cosmetics have been used by both men and women for thousands of years, and for many purposes – to mask body odour, in religious ceremonies, to enhance beauty, to disguise the ravages of age or disease, to appear ferocious in […]

Posted October 6, 2017 by Julia in Blogs, Historical Articles / 2 Comments