Review of The First Blast of the Trumpet by Alison Campbell

Alison Campbell > ‎Marie Queen of Scots

Last night I finished reading First Blast of the Trumpet by fellow page member, Marie Macpherson and I thoroughly enjoyed it and am looking forward to the next instalment!
It was interesting to read about a slightly earlier point in time, and I felt subtly immersed in the era, without feeling like I was being drowned in period detail.
But most fascinating was having these historical personages fleshed out into real people. I think when reading about history it’s easy to fall into a trap of seeing people as one dimensional white hats and black hats, or perhaps seeing only certain individuals as fully rounded. Knox rather suffers from that, too often just a beard, a brow and a wagging finger. Nothing beyond the dour and censorious. But of course, like everyone he had motivations, nuances, positives and negatives but as we don’t have much back story or even many accounts of him outwith his own, there’s little to fill that in, especially if we try to judge him through modern eyes. Marie’s book did a very good job of colouring in the outlines to give us the man.
The other main characters are also interesting and well drawn. Elisabeth and David Lindsay’s relationship and the story built around it leaves you willing it to be true. And I look forward to seeing more of some of the youngsters so far only briefly introduced.
Some of you not from here, and even some who are may have trouble with some of the Scots words and phrases scattered through the book. But you’ll get the gist of if and soon acclimatise All in all I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone interested in this period and its most important players.

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