James IV of Scotland was the most charismatic, but also the most doomed of the Stewart family to sit on the Scottish throne. Brilliantly clever, handsome and daring, he disdained his brother-in-law, Henry VIII of England, and set out on a flimsy excuse to inflict a resounding defeat on Scotland’s ancient enemy.
He almost succeeded. On September 9th, 1513, he and his invading army of 50,000 men stood on Branxton Heights near Flodden and faced an English army of over 25,000. Told from several different perspectives, from the King himself to Lucy, a young tearaway, the fateful battle is described in fascinating detail. Few households in the south of Scotland did not lose at least one man that terrible day.