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  • Culloden

  • Scotland's Last Battle and the Forging of the British Empire
  • By: Trevor Royle
  • Narrated by: Tim Bruce
  • Length: 11 hrs and 23 mins
  • Categories: History, Europe
  • 3.9 out of 5 stars (14 ratings)

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Summary

The Battle of Culloden in 1746 has gone down in history as the last major battle fought on British soil: a vicious confrontation between the English Royal Army and the Scottish forces supporting the Stuart claim to the throne. But this wasn't just a conflict between the Scots and the English: The battle was also part of a much larger campaign to protect the British Isles from the growing threat of a French invasion.

In Trevor Royle's vivid and evocative narrative, we are drawn into the ranks, on both sides, alongside doomed Jacobites fighting fellow Scots dressed in the red coats of the Duke of Cumberland's Royal Army. And we meet the Duke himself, a skilled warrior who would gain notoriety because of the reprisals on Highland clans in the battle's aftermath. Royle also takes us beyond the battle as the men of the Royal Army, galvanized by its success at Culloden, expand dramatically and start to fight campaigns overseas in America and India in order to secure British interests. We see the revolutionary use of fighting techniques first implemented at Culloden, and we see the creation of professional fighting forces.

©2016 Trevor Royle (P)2017 Tantor

Critic reviews

"Brilliant and engaging, Royle places Culloden and its aftermath into its true military and social context. The narrative is alive with a passion for the subject." ( Library Journal)

What listeners say about Culloden

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Mistitled, but interesting... if not actually entertaining.

To be honest, you could probably swap Dettingen for Culloden, both would still have precious little to do with the story, which is a fair summary with interesting features, of the activities of the British army in the second half of the eighteenth century. I was informed but not particularly entertained and unfortunately, the narrator has too light and soft a voice and too much a tendency towards effecting an excellent French accent, I missed details as I couldn't hear or pick up properly from the voice and / or accent. A bit of a disappointment really, a better title and narrator would perhaps merit a much better review.

1 person found this helpful

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Called culloden but has virually nothing to battle

If you're looking for a history of the build up, the Battle, the aftermath....Forget it! It is more concerned with the war of the spanish succession, 7 years war and Wolfe. Waste of time and money I'm afaid

1 person found this helpful

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Should be titled: 'After Culloden'

If you are looking for a history of Culloden then this book will disappoint. It is largely focused on the careers of Cumberland's officer cadre after the battle; with only a cursory mention of the battle itself in the opening chapters. It's a good book, well read, it just doesn't really live up to it's billing.

1 person found this helpful

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Culloden?

This book is a history of English military heads who are variously connected to the battle of Culloden. What I found interesting (as a Scotsman) was the seldom discussed genesis of the British empire by the pacifying of the Jacobites in the mountains of Scotland. The battle the book is named for occupies the opening chapters of the book, the rest follows the exploits of a few major figures in the empires history as they fought the French for dominion in the Americas, India and Europe. What I didn’t like was buying a book about Culloden only to spend hours of my life hearing about the well trodden ground of English history. I was let down by the fact that Scotland was merely the narrative launchpad for a story about the British Empire. Possibly this is my own fault, I hope that next time I buy a book that appears to concern the history of my own place, people and culture that I am not so disappointed. For those curious about Culloden and it’s role in the birth of the US and Canada, this book is a must.

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A good insight into the personalities of the Day.

If only the Jacobites had not listened to Murray! Who knows how this would have ended up? Good read and excellent historical content.

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  • Scotsman
  • 30-08-17

Focus of book is English generals, not Culloden

Very disappointed that almost the entire book is about the English generals and troops rather than the actual battle of Culloden. I waned to learn every detail of the battle but instead got a military record of each English officers career. The majority of the book covers their exploits outside of the battle - North America, Europe, etc. Three chapters relate to the title of the. Ok and the rest shoot off in an unexpected direction. Would not recommend it ... certainly if you're a Scotsman like me looking for an in-depth history of the battle that destroyed the highland culture.

16 people found this helpful

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  • GatesGuy5
  • 17-01-19

Should be Titled “Northumberland’s Men”

The events surrounding the actual battle of Colloden comprise only 25% of this book. Rather, it goes into quite a bit of detail about the subsequent careers of the elite group of officers who cut their teeth at the famous battle and became protégés of the Hanoverian Commander, prince “Billy the Butcher”, the Duke of Northumberland (younger son of GEORGE II). The author speaks to a target audience with at least basic military leadership experience, unpacking the talents (and personal spats/foibles) of big names like Clinton, Wolfe, Burgoyne, Howe. The Seven Years (French & Indian) War and the India campaigns of the late 18th century really should get equal billing with Colloden.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Tia L. Mills
  • 14-12-18

More of a British military history

This book did start out with the lead up to collided and was interesting, but the battle was over after about 3.5 hours in. After that, it really was just a book about the evolution of the British military. It moved over to fighting in America, which was interesting, but again, was from the lens of what was happening and changing in the British military as a whole. I didn’t finish it and don’t really think it should be sold as a book specific to Culloden as the name suggests.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-06-18

The title should be changed

I am sure that this book will really annoy any Scots. The actual battle occupies and very small portion of this book. It really is just a Who's Who of British officers who were associated with this battle. Being an American, I did enjoy the accounts of North American military history. Come to think of it, there was much more information on events in North America in this book than there is on Culloden. It is a well-written and interesting book for those who like military histories, but you will have to go elsewhere to get a complete account of Culloden.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ryan
  • 24-07-19

Not what it claims to be

Very little about Culloden, mostly a detail of English history with Culloden comprising a few chapters.

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  • DARRYL JOHNSON
  • 13-03-19

Excellent Historical Piece

Was an excellent and detailed history of the Jacobite Rebellion and the overall importance to history of the last battle fought on English soil!