An Idyll of 1745

LL 3618


A drummer boy of the English army, which ultimately defeated and massacred the Scottish army of the Young Pretender at Culloden Moor in April 1746, is playing on his fife. His audience includes three Scottish girls. We see that a savage conflict among adults need not prevent the young from fraternising - although the girls' faces seem to express both fear and admiration. This is the type of scene which might have appeared in a historical novel of the period. Scottish history was very fashionable in both literature and painting throughout the 19th century, and Millais, who spent many of his summers in Scotland, was very fond of Scottish subjects.