Category: Historical Articles


  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