"The Slogans and Warcries of Scotland of Old" by Andrew Pearson is a book which could easily be used as a definition of the term "labour of love". Many aspects of the life of Scotland's clans and their associated heritage have been researched in great detail over the past two centuries, with everything from genealogies to tartans covered in depth, and often by many different authors.
Andrew Pearson's interest has been in a much less well understood and little studied field: of the slogans, warcries and rallying cries associated with different clans and districts over the centuries. It is obvious from the word go that the amount of research underpinning this book has been huge, and conducted over many years. The result is a book which is both detailed and comprehensive: in effect this is the definitive story. Scottish slogans and warcries may have been an almost entirely overlooked area until now, but Andrew Pearson has not only placed them on the map, he has done so with an authority which means that nobody will ever again be able to write about this subject without reference to his work.
The book begins by defining what is meant by slogans and warcries, and discussing the Gaelic origins of the descriptions. Different types of cry are then addressed: some simply used the clan name, often repeated twice or three times, while others drew on the name of the clan chief's castle; or a local landmark; or set out a statement of defiance or a noble sentiment. The nature of the communities using these cries, whether clans, districts or other groups, is then discussed. The work of the early travellers, writers and antiquaries who initially recorded these cries for posterity is also covered.
By far the largest part of the book looks at the story of slogans and warcries on a clan by clan basis, in considerable detail. Here the value of the book goes beyond its immediate subject matter and it becomes of interest to anyone looking at the wider story of Scotland's clans.