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An Australian academic with links to the Scottish Highlands has written a historical novel filled with drama and romance, and titled Son of a Jacobite.
T J Lovat, a retired professor from Newcastle, Australia, with honorary appointments at Oxford and Glasgow universities, opens his book in April 1746.
Born on the final day of the Jacobite Rebellion at Culloden, Thomas Lovat enters the world on the same day his father departs, killed in action. The devastation of Culloden and the Highland Clearances will have a profound effect on the rest of Thomas’s life.
Conscious of his heritage and its associated anger, Thomas is confronted with a confused identity as he grows into a young man. Travelling to the Middle East, he meets and marries his first love. Together they bear a child.
He comes to see the beauty and troubles of Islam and so reflects on his own religious beliefs and values. Returning to England, Thomas joins the British Army and travels to the Americas in the prelude to the War of Independence.
As the American Revolution plays out, the tension between Thomas’s rebellious Jacobite heritage and his duties as a British officer come dramatically to the fore.
Speaking about his new novel, T J Lovat said: ‘I studied my own family’s history, tracing its beginnings from early 19th century Australia all the way back to Scotland. The historical record peters out a generation or two from the time of the Jacobite Rebellion, though there are strands of evidence that my family was caught up in it. This historical novel was constructed to fill the gaps.’