I have, on a few earlier occasions, had a go at Helion/Casemate due to the poor quality of their publications both in terms of proof reading and in terms of sub-editing. It has got me to the point where, even if a title sounds attractive, I'm a bit loathe to spend my hard earned cash on one of their publications, without a recommendation from a really reliable source.
When I was last looking at the Jacobite risings seriously I collected a few books on the subject, several of which were written by Stuart Reid. My view on warfare in the 17th/18th century and Scotland is that you can't really go wrong with Reid. I find him knowledgeable and reliable, and covers the things I want to know as a wargamer. It was back before COVID, at Partizan, I think, when Steven Ede-Borrett of the Pike & Shot Society recommended Jonathan Oates' book on the subject of the '15, and suggesting that he had rendered Reid's "Sheriffmuir 1715" obsolete. I harrumphed a bit, but thanked him for his thoughts.
What happened next I'm not sure. I don't recall buying the book, and then recently, when I decided to revisit the period, I ordered a copy as I found one discounted and the reviews did look good. When it arrived, I went to put it on the bookshelf, and discovered I already had a pristine, unread copy. B*gg*r*d if I know when I bought it. Any how, I thought, I'd better read it, especially as I now had two copies.
A few pages in and my suspicions that I had not read it were confirmed. Either that, or I've had a brain wipe or I'm really losing it. Also, it was becoming clear to me, quite quickly, that Steve had been right.
This is a proper good, well written, authentic history book. Not a book written by an enthusiast for the subject, but a book written by a trained historian who knows how to use sources, and use them well. It's a book that is thorough and packed with information and analysis. It isn't a lightweight read. There's a lot going on and the type face isn't the largest, but even without that it isn't a book you'd read from cover to cover in a single sitting. It's a book you have to think about and consider as you go along. It's awesome, and it breaks new ground.
In short, if you have an interest in this period you need to own a copy of this book, so thankyou Helion for making it available.
But is it a typical Helion book? Is it wrecked by an absence of proofing or editing? Luckily it isn't. There are more typos than there should be (come on, "rank flank" for "right flank" for goodness sake), and there are quotations from historical documents that may have typos or may not (in summary, I would not quote from one of the source quotations, as I'm not sure if the words used are archaic or just mistyped), but it isn't like Warwick Louth's book which is rendered nearly unusable and incomprehensible by sloppy proof reading.
My only real compliant is the absence of a map of Scotland showing the campaign manoeuvring. There are several good maps of the battlefield, but a decent campaign map is sort of an essential on a book covering a military campaign but, hey, you know what, I'll forgive him that, because otherwise it's a cracking book.
To my mind this is the sort of book wargamers and people interested in military history need. It's a book written by a historian that cares about military history. As I said it's proper history book, the likes of which we should have more, if military history wasn't the career killer some academics think.
So buy this book. Then you'll be ready when my early 18th Century rules are published.