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In 1568, the defeat of Mary, Queen of Scots at the Battle of Langside and her subsequent flight to England left Scotland a troubled nation.
Mary's infant son was crowned James VI, with her illegitimate half-brother, the earl of Moray, as Regent. The population remained bitterly divided as Moray and the Protestant Lords began to wreak their terrible vengeance on supporters of the losing side.
Having fought for the Queen at the battle, the Carmichaels of Lanarkshire were in a precarious position to say the least. Poor nineteen-year-old John Carmichael, Younger of that Ilk, whose sole ambitions were land-improvement, organising fishing and raising a family, was to become deeply entangled in the murky world of Scots regency government, eventually finding himself in great danger.
'Through his imaginative dialogue, he provides a voice for Scotland's heroes' Scotland on Sunday