My Writing Journey -The Royal Stuart Dynasty
The failure of the subsequent Jacobite rebellions, ending in the defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie, grandson of James II, at Culloden in 1746, finally consigned the dynasty to a footnote in history. It was a great comfort to the Hanoverians that neither Bonnie Prince Charlie, nor his brother, an eminent Catholic Cardinal, had any legitimate heirs. The lack of a future generation of Stuart champions and the brutal suppression and ethnic cleansing of Jacobites, especially in the Highlands of Scotland, led the Stuart cause to fizzle out.
However the Hanoverian view of Bonnie Prince Charlie as a rebel leader with a price on his head was eventually replaced by a romanticised picture of a tragic hero who very nearly succeeded. If only he had not been let down by everyone around him, particularly the French King who didn’t send the promised army in support, and his own generals, who forced him to turn back undefeated at Derby, within striking distance of a terrified London.
This romanticised view is deeply cemented in the Scottish psyche through a vast body of stories, songs and myths created mainly in the nineteenth century.
A few years ago I volunteered to do a cookery demo on rainbow trout for members of our fishing club. A lot of them were putting caught fish back because they didn’t know what to do with them. I was prepared to show them how to fillet, bone and skin fish as well as smoke them and prepare a few standard recipes. Invitations were sent out but apart from the committee (pressed men!), not a single member wanted to come. Apparently in
Yorkshire real men don’t cook or at least can’t admit to an interest, so the event was cancelled.
I remember being interested in what my mother was cooking and of course as a student you have to fend for yourself. I said earlier that lots of chemists are interested in cookery and that stems from the fact that synthetic chemists who make things, spend their time putting reactants together and heating them, which is of course just controlled cookery.