The aim here is to produce a battlefield guide that also provides a factual history of the battle. The rights and wrongs of the Jacobite rebellion are thus ignored and Reid focuses on the events of the battle and of the events leading up to it and in its aftermath, as well as producing a detailed guide to the battlefield today and a chapter on the two armies that fought at Culloden.
I found the section on the period before the battle of great interest - I hadn't realised that there was quite a gap between Prince Charles returning to Scotland in December 1745 and the battle of Culloden in April 1746. During those four months there were several clashes between Jacobite and Government troops, some of these minor battles in their own right. The account of the campaign and battle greatly benefit from Reid's use of original sources, and in particular the memoirs of the participants and their earlier reports and letters, which often give a rather different picture of events that their later memories.
The 2nd Edition has been produced because the National Trust for Scotland is engaged in a long term project to restore the battlefield to something like its appearance at the time of the battle. The final chapter, on the battlefields today, has thus had to be revised.
Reid had produced a very readable account of this iconic battle, with a lightness of style that is unusual in works on a still controversial topic.
1 - Prince Charles and the '45
2 - The Battle That Never War
3 - Night March
4 - High Noon on a Blasted Heath
5 - Claymore!
6 - Blood on the Heather
7 - The Armies
8 - The Battlefields of the '45 Today
Author: Stuart Reid
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military
Year: 2005 (1st edition), 2011 (2nd edition)