Night after night jostling crowds clamour for entry to Edinburgh’s Theatre Royal with one name on their lips: the Real Mackay. But who is he? The answer leaps off the page in this meticulously researched historical novel which plunges the reader into the weird and wonderful golden era of Scottish national drama, seen through the eyes of Charles Mackay and his family. Walter Scott’s favourite comedian dazzles and delights packed audiences across nineteenth-century Scotland for decades, bringing laughter to thousands, including the king. But behind his hilarious stage antics is a man grieving for the women he loses, all of them dying tragically young – his mother, his wife, his daughter. In the grip of unstoppable momentum, his extraordinary popularity casting long shadows over those he loves, will he be forced to choose between fame and family?
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