Borders Book Festival: Alistair Moffat
Acclaimed historian Alistair Moffat sets off in the footsteps of the Highland clans. In thirteen journeys he explores places of conflict, recreating as he walks the tumult of battle. As he recounts the military prowess of the clans – surely the most feared fighting men in western Europe – he also speaks of their lives, their language and culture before it was all swept away. The disaster at Culloden in 1746 represented not just the defeat of the Jacobite dream but also the unleashing of merciless retribution from the British government which dealt the Highland clans a blow from which they would never recover.
From the colonisers who attempted to ‘civilise’ the islanders of Lewis in the sixteenth century through the great battles of the eighteenth century – Killiekrankie, Dunkeld, Sheriffmuir, Falkirk and Culloden – this is a unique exploration of many of the places and events which define a country’s history.
Alistair Moffat was born and bred in the Scottish Borders. A former Director of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Director of Programmes at Scottish Television and founder of the Borders Book Festival, he is also the author of a number of highly acclaimed books. From 2011 he was Rector of the University of St Andrews. His previous books include The Reivers, The Borders, Scotland: A History from Earliest Times and To the Island of Tides.