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Response to Review no. 560

In general I think it best not to respond to reviews. A review is simply another scholar’s assessment of a book, and it seems to me inappropriate, and ultimately pointless, to get into a debate over such an expression of opinion even when the review is patently unfair. Nonetheless, since regular responses by authors are the essence of the IHR website, and I am loath to crimp a new scholarly initiative, I will briefly break my rule on this occasion.

Let me make clear from the outset that by no stretch of the imagination does Dr Glickman’s thoughtful critique fall into the category of ‘unfair’. His review is balanced and knowledgeable, and though I do not agree with his implication that I neglected the English end of the ‘15, it is manifestly true that, because of my interpretation of the phenomenon as a whole, the book ends up being Scotland-centred. Since Scotland and Ireland were de facto the powerhouses of the Jacobite cause, and Scotland was the cockpit of the ‘15, I conceive of this as entirely appropriate in a book on that rebellion. But because we can never know how strong or weak English Jacobitism was (seeing as the English Jacobites did so little openly to further the Stuart cause), the enigmatic quality of Jacobitism in the southern kingdom demands the question of how much text should be devoted to matters English remain open, and Dr Glickman is clearly, and legitimately, of another opinion than mine on the subject.

Dr Glickman’s work centres on the English Tory party, which fits him well to offer an alternative view of the English Jacobites’ rôle in the 1715 rebellion and the Jacobite movement more broadly. I hope he will do so, as such a riposte would fruitfully advance the debate on Jacobitism within and without the field.