History, Politics & Society
Argyll in the late 1700s wasn't so different to modern day.
In this truly historic county, criminals of old walked the same canal path we do, stood on the same doorsteps, travelled the same ferry routes and looked on the same hills as they died that we look on today. The walls which held the criminals still stand, the legal system, which prosecuted them is recognisable, even the names reverberate into modern Argyll.
But from the hills of Ardnamurchan and the vast scenery of the Blackmount to the glittering sands of Kintyre and beyond, these 18 new true tales of historic crime recount scenes, thankfully unrecognisable to modern Argyll residents, featuring muggings and murders, violent thefts, an old soldier's death, a disabled boy accused of killing a neighbour, a family of slippery thieves or the truth behind the last hangings in Argyll. These are the stories, previously untold, behind so many crimes hidden deep in the old records; old records which still smell of slate-dust, candle-smoke and charcoal from the original courtroom.
The characters who sat in judgement there, the men who went in search of the criminals, and the surgeons who helped the victims are here introduced, while the past which almost touches the present so many times in old Argyll, is brought straight onto the page for readers.
Blood and Battery is a parcel of new research about new historic crimes (some tragic, some thought-provoking, but all enlightening) and a colourful account of 66 years in a slowly modernising, but still criminal-ridden world of west coast industry, rural communities and government officialdom.
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