Murray Pittok


I was part of the great unwashed who believed Culloden was a battle between hordes of poorly trained highlanders up against well-drilled and well-equipped British soldiers. I had an excuse for this that doesn’t involve novels. I watch an episode of the television show You Are There, which portrayed important historical events as if they were actually happening and being reported by Walter Cronkite on site interviewing participants. It was riveting, and though I must have watched several episodes it is the Battle of Culloden I remember best.

This book was a revelation to me, especially the second half. Pittock described the effect of the battle on the attitude of the British and the Scottish people for years to come. He uses examples of art to show how public opinion was formed, not by historical accounts, but by sentimental and inaccurate paintings.

This was a fascinating account of the battle and its aftermath that changed my thinking about this important battle.


2 thoughts on “Culloden

  1. As a child I didn’t know what “Culloden” was. I probably thought it was a person. My father dearly loved my maternal great aunt, Mary McCallum, whose parents and siblings came to the US from Scotland, and he liked to tease her. He often egged me on to say “Culloden” to her and she used to shake her head at hearing the word. And stupid child that I was I never asked her why.

    I’d like to see the series, “You Are There” rebooted.

    Liked by 1 person

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