When the Irish tenants rise up against the land owners in the Christmas of 1641, Scottish exile Alasdair MacColla MacDhòmhnail sees in the unrest an opportunity to gain influence and power over his family’s gaoler, the most powerful man in Scotland, the Earl of Argyll. As the conflict becomes civil war his name begins to be spoken in high places. He is dubbed the Holer of Houses by his detractors and the last defender of a dying way of life by his supporters; to his enemies and friends alike he seems to have supernatural protection.
Drawing together true events gathered from oral-history, first hand British Civil War letters and diaries, scholarly works and Vatican records, Alasdair is a biography in novel form of an almost forgotten son of Gaeldom. To non-Gaels, where Alasdair MacColla MacDòmhnail registers at all, he is a mis-spelled name with the rank of General under the more famous royalist Graham of Montrose, supporter of King Charles in the Scottish dimension of the British Civil War. To Alasdair himself, he was perhaps only a younger son in a family much oppressed by more powerful interests, struggling against a tide of social change. A tide that Alasdair found himself in a position to affect.
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