The history of the clans reaches back into the mists of antiquity. On the strength of a surname alone, families can claim kinship with people who existed a thousand years ago. The origins of the distinctive cloth patterns collectively known as tartan are, however, shrouded in controversy. Tartans are now inextricably linked with the story of the clans and are the most evocative symbol of the clan, as well as of Scotland. While kilts have been worn in Ireland as long as they have in Scotland, they were of plain cloth in shades of green, brown, or yellow. Tartan was once a uniquely Scottish phenomenon, though it has spread to Ireland as well as other parts of the world relatively recently.
Most of the Scottish tartans as we know them today date back no further than the 1820s, when King George IV visited Scotland dressed in a kilt, complete with flesh-colored tights. This sightwhile perhaps rather ludicrous triggered the craze for tartan that endures to this day. Now, the number of tartans runs to many hundreds.
Clans & Tartans includes over 300 tartans, their derivation and ancestry, and a short history of the clan associated with them. They are listed alphabetically in an easy-to-use format with sections for both Scottish and Irish clans and tartans. Discover the proud traditions of Scotland’s and Ireland’s clans in this beautifully illustrated and informative book.