The Complete Book of Tartan

The Complete Book of Tartan

Iain Zaczek Charles Phillips

A heritage encyclopedia of over 400 tartans and the stories that shaped Scottish history

To buy from a selection of online sources click here

Over 138 colour photographs
Over 561 illustrations
Over 438 projects

Publication DateMay 2009
Number of Pages264
Size(mm)220 x 168mm
Bindinghardback with plc and jacket
Carton Qty22
House Code3034
All over the world, tartan is immediately recognized as a symbol of the Scottish people and their culture. It is glamorous, colourful and instantly conjures up a romantic set of associations - the sway of the kilt, the skirl of the pipes, and the spectacle of brave Highlanders fighting for freedom against an imperial power

The history of tartan lives up to those expectations. Over the centuries, its fortunes have ebbed and flowed. It has been mocked as the attire of savages too poor to afford trousers; it has been outlawed as the uniform of dangerous rebels; but ultimately it has triumphed, becoming a badge of honour not only for native Scots, but for their descendants and admirers around the globe.

Here the brave history of this romantic cloth is examined in detail, covering the span of Scotland's history and the manner in which tartan was enmeshed in her struggle for international independence and cultural identity. The history of Scotland is a long and rich one, and the story of tartan is inextricably woven into it, but tartan is also very much part of the modern world, both as a continuing tradition and as a declaration of affiliation, by Scots all around the globe. In this book is an unprecedented collection of tartans, ancient and modern, traditional and obscure, mainstream and idiosyncratic, from the major clans who have dominated Scotland's destiny, to today's individuals and societies who use tartan to declare an allegiance.

From the Bruces to the Katsushika Japanese Dancers, from the chieftains of the medieval period to Neil Armstrong who took his family tartan to the moon, tartan is surely one of the most enduring symbols of national pride and individual honour. It is also a particularly inclusive, infinitely adaptable way of proclaiming that we belong to something, and perhaps it is this that makes it so beloved.

About the Authors
Charles Phillips - Author
Charles Phillips is an established writer of popular history and the author of The Illustrated History of Knights and the Golden Age of Chivalry, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Aztec & Maya, The Complete Illustrated Guide to Kings and Queens of Britain and Ireland and The Complete Illustrated Guide to Castles, Palaces and Stately Houses of Britain and Ireland (all Lorenz books). He was a contributor to Cassell's Dictionary of Modern Britain and Ancient Civilizations; and illustrated histories published by Dorling Kindersley, Guinness and Marshall Editions. He has a keen interest in British history and the story of the Royal Family and was a key writer of Time Life's Myth and Mankind series, which blends mythology with the art and history of ancient cultures. Charles is a graduate of Oxford University and holds an MA from the University of Westminster, London.
Iain Zaczek - Author
Iain Zaczek is a writer with a background in art history. Born in Dundee and educated at Wadham College, Oxford, and the Courtauld Institute of Art, he has extensively researched and written about Celtic legend and culture. He has also researched and written about tartan, and the way it has reflected and imbued the historical and social life of Scotland. His work includes: The Book of Scottish Names (Cico Books); The Clans and Tartans of Scotland; Chronicles of the Celts; The Book of Kells (Collins & Brown); Irish Legends (Contemporary Books); and Celtic Art and Design (Studio Editions).

An imprint of Anness Publishing, Hermes House, 88-89 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8HA Tel: 020 7401 2077 Fax: 020 7633 9499 Website: