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This collection of short stories focuses on the Scottish civil war of 1644-45, in which the Marquis of Montrose led his royalist forces in a series of stunning victories against the odds before his final defeat at Philiphaugh. Each of Hogg's five tales centres on one of the five major battles of Montrose's brilliant but ultimately futile campaign. Each tale is utterly different from the others in genre and tone, but taken together they build up a composite picture of what it was like to experience the 'anarchy and confusion' of the time at first hand.