I am very exctied to have guest author, Blythe Gifford back with History Undressed. She previously visited us, with her extremely intriguing article, Cross Dressing in the Middle Ages. Today, she is gifting us with another tantalizing bit of history, Behind the Plaid: Scotland and the Tartan.
HIS BORDER BRIDE, a May release from the Harlequin Historical line, is my first book set north of the border in Scotland. When my editor and I were first discussing the cover, she asked “Do you mind if we put plaid on the cover?”
Mind? I want to attract readers who love Scotland. Why should I object to signaling that to the reader?
Well, the answer, as my editor knew, is that I tend to be a stickler for historical accuracy. And in the 14th century Scottish Borders, tartan plaids are an anachronism.
Let me explain.
But even if I had set it in the Highlands, the beautiful tartan pattern would have been out of place in my century.
Nope. Even that idea was nixed. Why? Because, I learned, those lovely clan tartans are copyrighted and cannot be used without permission and, presumably royalties.
Somehow, I’m not sure the ancient weavers in the Highlands would have understood.
Would love to hear your comments on tartans. Love ‘em, hate ‘em, know what your families is? A copy of HIS BORDER BRIDE (complete with anachronistic, inaccurate plaid!) to a lucky commenter.
BLYTHE GIFFORD is the author of five medieval romances from Harlequin Historical. She specializes in characters born on the wrong side of the royal blanket. With HIS BORDER BRIDE, she crosses the border and sets a story in Scotland for the first time, where the rules of chivalry don’t always apply. Here’s a brief description:
***All photos accompanying posts are either owned by the author of said post or are in the public domain -- NOT the property of History Undressed. If you'd like to obtain permission to use a picture from a post, please contact the author of the post.***