quando la storia è romanzo – Bonnie Prince Charlie

The history of Scotland that fashinated so much writers like Sir Walter Scott, is sometimes as romantic as a novel. Scotland suffered from the efforts of the Stuarts to win back the throne. The first “Jacobite” revolt to get back the crown for James II’ s son, in 1715, was unsuccessful. The Stuarts tried again in 1745, when James II’ s grandson, Prince Charles Edward Stuart, famous as Bonnie Prince Charlie, landed (= sbarcò) on the west coast of Scotland. He persuaded some clan chiefs (= capi) to join him (= unirsi a lui) and these chiefs convinced their men to fight menacing to burn down (= radere al suole) their houses. Most clans did not join the rebellion, and nor did the men of the Scottish lowlands.

At first Bonny prince Charlie was successful: his army (= esrcito) of Highlanders entered Edinburgh and defeated an English army in a surprise attack. Then he marched south. His success depended on English men who wanted to join his army. When the army  was half way (= a mezza strada per) to London, however, it was clear that few of the English would join him, and the highlanders themselves were unhappy at being so far from home. The rebels moved back to Scotland. Early in 1746 they were defeated by the British army at Culloden, near Inverness. The rebellion was finished.

The English army behaved with cruelty:  many  highlanders were killed, others were sent to work in America. Their homes were destroyed, and their farm animals killed. The fear of the highland danger was so great that a law was passed forbidding (= proibendo) highlanders to wear their traditional skirts, the kilt. The old patterns of the kilt, called tartans, and Scottish musical instruments, the bagpipe, were also forbidden. Some did not obey this law and were shot.

After the Battle of Culloden Bonnie Prince Charlie fled (= scappò) Scotland and lived in France where he died age 67. He became a romantic hero for the Scots and the  story of his escape with the help of Flora MacDonald, still captures the imagination.