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Bonnie Prince Charlie: A biography of…

Bonnie Prince Charlie: A biography of Charles Edward Stuart (1988)

by Susan Maclean Kybett

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351488,486 (3.67)None
Kybett spent 15 years in intensive study of the Stuart Papers, thousands of letters and documents, the bulk of which have been virtually untapped by other researchers. As a result, her book contains more new information on the subject than any book published since 1900. 15 black-and-white photos.



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How much sympathy should a biographer have for her subject?

Obviously a biographer must perform a balancing act. Too much sympathy and the subject comes off too well. But too little sympathy means a failure to sympathize with the problems the subject faces. And most people who are worthy of a biography do face problems.

Certainly Charles Edward Stuart did. With no money, no staff, and no weapons, he somehow had to charm enough citizens of Britain to support him to mount a rebellion.

"Bonnie Prince Charlie" brought peculiar gifts to this task. He was definitely handsome and charming. On the other hand, he had a dreadful time with spelling and punctuation. In the end, he failed -- but he was a pretty spectacular failure.

You wouldn't know it from this book. Its sole purpose seems to be to rag on the man who really should have been king, giving him very little credit for his genuine successes, attacking his failures, and always looking toward the future when the frustrated prince became a drunken abuser. But there is no reason to think that it had to be so. In this case, a little sympathy would have produced a much better book. ( )
  waltzmn | Mar 17, 2012 |
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This book is dedicated with love to my mother, Ann Maclean Jones, of the Isle-of-Lewis in Scotland.
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Preface -- the late Scottish actor David Niven is the only man ever to have portrayed Bonnie Prince Charlie in a Hollywood-style film production of tha tname.
Chapter 1

The Warming-Pan Baby

Early on Christmas morning in 1688 a fishing boat emerged from the fog-shrouded English channel and moored at the small French port of Ambleteuse lying between Boulogne sur Mer and Calais.
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