The most recent edition of Fortean Times contains a top-hole review of The Jacobites and the Supernatural. As any fule kno, Fortean Times is the world’s leading magazine for strange phenomena, and has been my rock and benchmark for more decades than I care to recall.
Here’s the review in full, reproduced from Fortean Times No.277 July 2011 with permission:
Holder has written a number of guides to regional folklore and legends, but this book takes a novel tack, focusing on the ill-fated Jacobite risings of the late 17th to mid-18th centuries.
Here are tales of witchcraft, spirits, prophecies, prodigies, portents and curses that followed Bonnie Prince Charlie and supporters of the Stuart cause. Of course, there are battlefields, castles and dwellings (a surprising number of them in England) with ghosts, poltergeists, fairies and grisly murders – but there is quite a bit of human interest too. For example: the dashing young ‘Bonnie Dundee’ Graham who was reputed to have sold his soul to the Devil and died by a silver bullet, and the Young Pretender himself who was said to have ‘impressed’ his good looks upon an unborn child.
Here too, we learn how the ‘touching rite’ (believed by many at the time to be a sure cure for scrofula) was introduced to British royalty and used politically by the Stuarts as a proof of a legitimate king, and how many of the marvels of superstition, witchcraft and folklore were exploited by propagandists on all sides.
Great stuff, well written and illustrated.