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Robertson’s Historical Proofs on the Highlanders
Opinions of the Press


From “The Reader,” a review of Literature, Science, and Art.—

“If, then, the Pictish Gael, who gave the Romans so much trouble in the early ages of our era, was neither a Scandinavian according to Pinkerton, nor an ancient Briton according to Garnett, who was he? This is the grand ques­tion which the Author answers, and after a careful perusal of his book, keeping well in mind the various theories and arguments of his opponents, we cannot help coming to the conclusion that he is perfectly right when he says that these same Picts are our old friends of Killiecrankie fame—--the modern Scotch Highlanders. Mr Skene, the highest Celtic authority known, agrees with the Author in believing the Picts and Caledonians to have been the same people. Another important and highly probable conclusion at which the Author arrives, is, ‘that the accession of Kenneth M’Alpin to the Pictish throne was a pcaeeable one and in all respects precisely the same as King James of Scotland to the throne of England.’ He proves also the language of the Picts to be the same as that of the present Highlanders. From the space we have devoted to the book, our readers will perceive that we not only attach considerable import­ance to the subject, but that we regard also very favourably the manner in which it has been treated.”

From the “Atheuaeum.”—London

“The Author ‘battles stoutly for the rejection of the Irish element.’ He affirms that there is no trace of Irish-Gaelic in Scotland beyond the limits of Argyleshire, and that the Ossianic poems are pure Caledonian, their references being to Caledonian localities only, and that in a language never corrupted by the Dalriad dialect. His zeal for the Caledonians never forsakes him. Not only were they bards, but warriors. ‘They were the men,’ he says, ~ were otherwise called Picts—men whom the Romans could not subdue in their highland refuge, nor Anglo-Saxons drive out of more than the southern plains. In the Highlands they have remained, and the present Highlanders are their descendants in blood and in speech! The Author displays great ingenuity in seeking to establish these points; and there is no more interesting portion of his book than that touching on language, in which he shows the old Caledonian significance of local names even in the south, which existed long before an irish-Scot, or Wanderer, entered on the sacred soil.”

From “The Gentleman’s Magazine.”

The Author has devoted a large amount of labour to investigate a subject of real historical interest. The reader will find a good deal of curious information about the High­land Clans, their badges, war-cries, etc., which will repay the purusal; and the descriptions of the illustrations (which are really very spirited), are well written. ‘The whole work is evidently a labour of love with its Author, and his earnest­ness on the subject leads to a strong prepossession in his favour.”

Prom the “Elgin Courant.”

“The period of Scottish history treated of by the Author of this volume has been generally regarded as very obscure by our best historians, from the deficiency of trustworthy historical records. The Author endeavours to throw some light on that dark period. He seems to have laboured with great diligence in search of correct information from the earliest writers who have made mention of our native land. Of the identity of the language of the Picts and present Highlanders we see no reason to be doubtful. In conclu­sion, we have to thank the Author far the research, and diligence, and great labour with which he has collected correct information regarding our forefathers and our native land from the most reliable sources.”

From the “Glasgow Herald.”

A really valuable historical treatise. The book is one that will repay an attentive perusal, and that ought to be especially acceptable to the Highlanders. There can be no doubt that Colonel Robertson has made his case very strong, and has brought a very important question nearer to its solution. We commend an attentive perusal of Chapter VII. of this work, which very carefully collects and exa­mines the historical evidence,—the next two chapters presenting evidence of the identity of the Pictish and the Gaelic language as an argument for the identity of the Pictish and the Gaelic people, is also worthy of special note. A good deal of curious information will also be found in the chapter devoted to the poetry, music, arms, and costume of the Highlanders. ‘the book has an excellent and copious index, and is furnished with a good map.”

From the “Inverness Courier.”

“An interesting contribution to the great Pictish ques­tion has just been published by Colonel Robertson. The writer traverses most of the ground gone over by former writers, giving, ni a brief and well arranged form, the historical and topographical facts on which his theory is based. The book seems well fitted to rouse the interest and curiosity of persons who have not studied the question.”

From the “Perth Advertiser.”

“The Author has ably and satisfactorily treated the subject. On the whole, we are compelled to acknowledge that the Author in his Gael of Alban, has established his conclusions beyond a doubt. We are utterly unable to do justice to a work which must have entailed much labour and research on the Author. It is, however, gratifying, to see our southern neighbours, the Athenceurn and Reader, taking such friendly notice of it. We now take leave of the Gael of Alban, wishing its author that counte­nance which he is so highly entitled to; and we beg to thank him for the additional light he has thus cast on a dark period of our country’s history.”

From the “Edinburgh Courant.”

“The Author indignantly repudiates the idea that the Scottish Highlanders—the true descendants of the ancient Caledonians—derive their origin and their language from the insignificant colony of Irish Scots, who came into Argyle-shire in the sixth century, where their descendants—pro­perly the only Scots in Scotland—still remain. ‘The Author gives us an historical sketch of Scottish history from the Roman invasion of Caledonia, AD. 78, down to the middle of the 12th century; a dissertation on the language of the Picts; some account of the poetry and national dress of the Gael; and short notices of the Highland clans, includ­ing the origin of their chieftains, badges, and war-cries, with the conclusions to which he comes. There can be no doubt that he has displayed much ingenuity and research in his attempt to establish them. The work contains several beautiful ouline drawings of some of the finest scenery in the highlands, and a map illustrative of the Author’s theories with regard to the ‘land of Alban,’ or country of the Pictish Gael.”

Prom the “Bookseller.”—London.

“The work contains ‘a large amount of historical and antiquarian information.”


From WM. F. SKENE, Esq., LL.D., Author of “History of the Highlanders,” etc., etc.1 etc.

“I read your work with very great pleasure. I think the historical statements throughout are perfectly correct, and that you have discriminated between the true and the false with skill and Judgement; I think your criticisms are most just and conclusive.”

From E. WILLIAM ROBERTSON, Esq., Author of “Scotland under her early Kings,” etc., etc.

“I have read your book, I can assure you, with much interest; in the view you take of the Pictish question I entirely concur, and I should imagine it would be an ex­ceedingly difficult matter for your opponents to meet your arguments fairly.”

From the Rev. D. M’INTYRE, of Kincardine, Ross-shire, Author of an “Essay on the Gaelic Language,” etc., etc.

“I am quite delighted with the accuracy of your Gaelic quotations, etc., throughout. I did not detect a single error in the whole of your book.”

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