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Pretty Young Rebel


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An enthralling portrait of the remarkable Scottish heroine Flora Macdonald from bestselling biographer Flora Fraser

About the Author

Flora Fraser is the author of Beloved Emma: The Life of Emma Hamilton, The Unruly Queen: The Life of Queen Caroline, Princesses: The Daughters of George III, Venus of Empire: The Life of Pauline Bonaparte and George & Martha Washington: A Revolutionary Marriage, which won the 2016 George Washington Prize. Flora was named after the Scottish heroine Flora Macdonald, whose story she tells in Pretty Young Rebel. Flora Fraser lives in London.


In this enthralling book, which throws us straight into the fresh air, heather, rain and midges of the Hebrides, followed by the swamps and creeks of North America, Fraser fleshes out what for most of us is a sketchy and romanticised area of our general knowledge . . . Full of unforgettable glimpses
*The Times*

Flora Fraser’s new biography stylishly updates MacDonald’s story
*The Mail on Sunday*

Flora Macdonald has met her ideal biographer. Flora Fraser has a born grasp of the mists and tides of high feeling that swirl about her subject to this day. As in all her biographies, she conveys in scholarly fashion a spellbinding sense that rationality and romance are not remotely incompatible but may compose the heart of a life.
*Candia McWilliam*

Flora Fraser unpicks the whys and wherefores of what happened, the tragic outcome of their enterprise and how Flora Macdonald’s gifts as a survivor and shrewd operator came again and again to the rescue of her family … In the meticulous and deep-delving research for the hugely readable Pretty Young Rebel, Flora says she has built a picture of Flora Macdonald as sure of herself, uncowed by royalty, and egalitarian, a gracious, charming yet artful and grounded product of her island roots.
*Press and Journal*

Detailed and enjoyable … This is a full and always interesting book, a rich picture of Highland society at a time of change as well as a persuasive and always pleasing account of Flora’s life, a social study as well as a fine telling of a well-known tale, and of the less familiar story of the Scots who chose loyalty to the Crown in America

[Flora Macdonald’s] entire life story is interesting, as Flora Fraser shows in this thoroughly researched biography … Fraser tells the story of Flora Macdonald’s life very well, with sympathy, respect and understanding
*Literary Review*

[In] her well-researched and enthusiastic biography, Flora Fraser recounts Macdonald's life based on facts culled from published and archival sources on both sides of the Atlantic
*New York Times*

This is a full and always interesting book ... a fine telling of a well-known tale

Flora Fraser, in Pretty Young Rebel, tells the story of those days well and in some detail … Fraser is keen to underline the high personal risk Flora ran throughout … [Flora Macdonald] carried out her own mission with courage, daring and, as Flora Fraser reminds us, unfaltering good sense.

This new biography by Flora Fraser (who is named after her subject) intends to sift out a 'real Flora' from the spoil heap of sentimental history . . . Nothing in this book is more fascinating that what it suggests about the concept of loyalty . . . After plenty of enterprising research in Britain and in North Carolina, Fraser makes a fresh and exciting narrative
*London Review of Books*

Fraser's finely detailed and well-researched biography looks behind the legend to unveil a strong and determined woman

This is one of those lives immortalized by a single decision … the skilful historian Flora Fraser has produced a detailed, dynamic account of her namesake’s colourful cameo role. It will hold surprises for anyone apart from those already utterly enveloped in the heathery Highland mists of this story … In Ms. Fraser’s hands, myth becomes thrilling reality … eye-opening … Ms. Fraser has done a remarkable job of explaining the glamour of this fascinating figure without diminishing it
*Wall Street Journal*

A riveting read ... thrilling, while based on intensive archival research as well as local knowledge and tradition ... Fraser's closely researched book not only strips away accretions and elisions, to reconstruct an iconic moment in history. She widens out the canvas to take in the marketing of memory and the creation of factoids ... masterly

A lively and highly readable study of the iconic Jacobite heroine.
*Murray Pittock, author of Culloden*

This affecting history gives due credit to the real woman at the centre of a captivating legend
*Publishers Weekly*

PRAISE FOR GEORGE & MARTHA WASHINGTON: Scrupulously researched ... Fraser paints a wonderfully detailed picture of American family life at the end of the pioneering colonial period.
*Mail on Sunday*

Flora Fraser tells the story of a couple, a family and country with sympathy and huge skill ... She is a respectful biographer, scholarly, unshowy and unsensational
*Sunday Telegraph*

An intimate portrait of America's original power couple ... Impeccably researched and entertaining
*The Lady*

Elegant ... Fraser mines the sources available to her to reveal the depth of her subjects' attachment to one another
*Literary Review*

Flora Fraser has provided an insightful portrait in elegant prose with a dash of wit. The book is based on a mastery of the original sources and brings to life, with much imagination, a wonderful marriage in a period of revolution and war. It is written with a light touch, but is a serious account in every respect. This is a book worthy of its subject
*Robert Middlekauf*

Vivid and detailed ... Carefully researched and clearly argued
*The Oldie*

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