Book Review: The Handbook of Clans & Tartans of Scotland by Maria Constantino

 photo The Handbook of Clans amp Tartans of Scotland by Maria Constantino.jpg Title: The Handbook of Clans & Tartans of Scotland
By: Maria Constantino
Categories / Themes: non-fiction, Scotland, family, tradition, tartan.
Read: 10th June, 2014
Rating: 5 / 5
Obtained: Bookshop
Crossposted Review to: Goodreads

At the end of 2013, I was at a book shop at the markets and I came across this book for sale at the book shop. I was pretty interested, but I didn’t have the cash for it. When I got home, I intended to buy it online but was unable to find it in my usual online stores. I was quite interested in it so I went back in early February of 2014, but was disappointed that they no longer had it on display. I was lucky enough that when I asked for it at a later date, they still had a copy! Yay!

I’m pretty pleased with this book. I’ve always been sort of interested in the history of clans, whether it be Scottish or otherwise. This book provided a mix of both the history of these clans with the colours they wear. It provided large images of these tartans and even dress tartans (think of it as a version of a nice suit; you might wear jeans every day, but then you wear something much nicer when you dress up for an event) for the clans.

My only disappointment is that in some places, the print is not up to a great standard. I am referring to the darker tartans with a black base colour. In these cases, many times other dark colours on top of it have not printed correctly so they are barely visible. However, luckily, the author has provided written colour information for each tartan so I get the basic idea of them. It’s pretty comprehensive in that respect; providing the information so that another can recreate a tartan with the right colours. As for the information portion, it’s not as inclusive and the details are reasonably condensed. There’s not a ton of details, but there’s enough so that the reader can gain a basic idea of each clan and it’s up to each person to do more research into the clans they want to know more about.

Overall, this is definitely one of my favourite books. It was cheap- about $10-15 AUS if I remember correctly-, but has a lot of great information!

Thinking back on the book, I’m really glad that I bought it. It’s not the most useful book to my life, as I’m not Scottish and don’t personally know anyone who is… However, I still think it has very valuable information. It’s like (meaning no offense) looking on some sort of culture which is disappearing. Not everyone is going to continue a legacy, but with books like this, the information about such things can be spread and remembered for centuries to come. Personally, I would also think of it as a valuable writing tool. If I were interested in writing something about Scottish clans, I would certainly refer to information like this to inspire me.

I bought this book myself and these are just my honest thoughts on it.


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