Monday, 1 December 2014

Monday 1st December - The Pretender's Troops...

Hello my Blogvent Darlings! Yet again I will spend the whole of Advent providing you with a wintery calendar of lovely pictures and splendid facts, or as near as I ever get to them.  This year I will also recommend a nice pressie you can buy the art lover in your life (or even yourself) from stuff I love and that makes me happy.  Okay, off we go then...

The Pretender's Troops Entering Altrincham at Dawn, 1 December 1745 Tom Colley
Well, it is the 1st December so this is a rather good picture to start with.  Here we have a scene from the Jacobite rising of 1745. 'The Pretender' was Bonnie Prince Charlie, grandson of  James II who was kicked off the throne for being utter rubbish and not a patch on his brother, Charles II, who had awfully good legs and wasn't a bad king.

Bonnie Prince Charlie John Pettie
Victorian artists rather liked the handsome and romantic Pretender and he featured in several historical paintings looking glorious.  There is a definite link in the images of him and paintings of cavaliers, all that beauty and fashion but ultimately defeated.  Ah, the romance of it all!  Altrincham is south of Manchester and when the Prince reached there his star was in the ascendant.  He retreated back to Manchester on 9th. Never march in the snow!

The Pretender's Troops Demanding Billets at The Red Lion Inn, Altrincham, 1st December 1745
 Tom Colley's pictures of the arrival of the Pretender's troops (the Prince arrived the day before) are on display in the town hall.  I find it interesting how towns hold fast to moments of history that are specific to them.  I grew up in Devizes where you can see carvings of Queen Matilda on the side of buildings.  She was involved in a siege in the castle there, but outside Devizes, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who knows about it.  Most people will know about the Battle of Culloden, but for the people of Altrincham, this moment in the conflict is remembered and owned.

Today's present is linked to the painting and will warm up your winter a treat.  I can think of no better way of spending a chilly December evening then being wrapped up in a blanket reading Wildish by Robert Stephen Parry.  I expect regular readers of the blog probably thought I would nominate The Arrow Chest because heaven knows I love that book, but for romantic, saucy, adventurous larks, I can think of nothing finer.

Buy Wildish from here (UK) and here (USA)... 

See you tomorrow!


  1. Ahh, it's definitely Christmas. It's like opening the first door on the Advent calendar, receiving the first Christmas card of the season and hearing a Christmas song on the wireless. I look forward to your 'Blogvent' every year Kirsty.

  2. This must be the fourth Blogvent! Blimey, how time flies when you're having fun! I love doing it because I get to spend December with the nicest people online.

    Happy Blogvent!


Many thanks for your comment. I shall post it up shortly! Kx