E = MC2
Energy can neither be created or destroyed.
And so it is said that the Battle of Culloden is fought, year after year, on the same site, on the anniversary. Ghosts. Trapped forever in a moment. No wonder spirits remain. The Highlanders who fought at Culloden were fighting for their lives, their families, their future, their language and their culture. They lost. And in losing unleashed one of the most horrific periods in Scottish history. The repercussions for the survivors of the battle were brutal. No quarter was given to wounded soldiers. They were executed. No quarter was given to Jacobite sympathisers. They were executed. Men, women, children, the elderly, the infirm. Gaelic, the language of the Scots was outlawed, as was their tartan. The Battle of Culloden ended the Clan system in Scotland and heralded the beginning of the Highland Clearances. Now, ancestors of those who fought return, like salmon seeking their birth place, year on year from around the world, seeking they know not what, but compelled none the less. From the America’s, from Canada, from New Zealand and Australia. That is energy.
Strangely, by coincidence, I too have found myself at Culloden Battlefield on the 16thof April for the last three years. One of my earliest memories is of visiting the battlefield. I have visited the site frequently throughout my life and even now it is a place that never fails to draw me. I find it the most atmospheric place on earth. Second- Loch Ness, Highlands. Scotland. Third- Glencoe, Highlands, Scotland, Fourth-Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA. Not every day of course. But dark days, when clouds grey and black drift across the sky and only rare shafts of light break through, falling like ghostly ladders to the ground below. When the hills around the Moray Firth in the distance are sprinkled with snow and when sheets of sleet bite the skin and the beginnings of a gale begin to howl through the few trees which sprinkle the moor. On days like that, there is no other place on earth like the moor and it is easy to believe in ghosts and a lot more beside.
This year it was sunny and the ghosts, for me, were less evident. I had the particular pleasure of attending a talk by Inverness Library about a selection of ancient books they had discovered in their archives. The books, it appeared had been placed in boxes for disposal and had not been catalogued. When the library was being prepared for renovation the books were discovered and their importance realised. The catalogue of books are unlikely –as a result of their age and fragility to be generally available in the library but are available by appointment by contacting Inverness Library by telephone at 01463 236463 or email email@example.com
First hand testimony
Ref 368 The Book of Lamentations of Charles Anon 1746
Ref 2914 The Contrast Anon 1825
Politics and Propoganda
Ref 369 An Answer to the 2ndManifesto of the Pretender’s eldest son Britannicus 1745
Ref 370 Hereditary right not Indefeasible A True Scotchman 1745
Music, Plays and Poetry
Ref 63 The Rise and Progress of the Rebellion. D. Graham 1803
Ref 2571 The Pageant (10 plays) Anon 1939
A collection of sermons Various 1745
The Unexpected and the Unusual
385 Notes on the Swords from the Battlefield Lord Archibald Campbell 1894
The full catalogue of books is available on request from the library.
It was a real privilege to have an opportunity to see the books and listen to the presentation.
Question time at the close of the presentation became quite heated, perhaps surprisingly given that it related to ancient books, but the point was made emphatically that ‘fake news’
is no modern invention.