Featherstone, Donald.


1st ed., 1971. 237 pp., 6 photo & other plates. D.j., 22 x 14cm. FINE. Hector MacDonald ran away to join the 42nd Royal Highlanders, the Black Watch, at the age of fourteen. Donald Featherstone has reconstructed, from contemporary accounts of the Regiment and histories of the Army, the life of a Highlander in the mid-nineteenth century. Among some old records of the Bristol docks, Featherstone found a letter from MacDonald asking his employer in the docks for a better rate of pay, and giving his life history. According to the letters MacDonald saw service in the Crimean War, where he was wounded, and in the Indian Mutiny, serving with the Highland Brigade under the distinguished Sir Colin Campbell. He left the Army, emigrated to America and fought in the Civil War, returning to Bristol to work as a docker, and dying in poverty while struggling to keep his wife and family. Around this tenuous thread Featherstone has wound a delightful, but wholly credible story based also on army histories and Regimental accounts.

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