Book Reviews

Feb 23rd, 2008 | By | Category: Featured Sections

There are not many books that focus solely on the the History of the Borders and the Reivers in particular. However, there are some classic texts which any Reiver enthusiast or researchers should read.

Unfortunately, many of the books that form the core of this sites content are not easily available beyond university libraries or rare book shops. For example “The memoirs of Robert Carey; edited by F. H. Mares”. However, if you look around you may find Second hand coppies

Another source used heavily to create this site is Joseph Bain’s Calendar of Border Papers: volume 1 and 2 which is an organising of various state documents Papers concerning the Anglo-Scottish border (1560-1603). If you are prepared to pay to view you can do so at

The books listed below are highly recommended. Please help support this site by purchasing through the provided links.

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  • The Steel Bonnets by George MacDonald Fraser
    The Steel Bonnets: Story of the Anglo-Scottish Border Reivers The definitive guide to the lives and times of the Border Reivers.  If you only read one book on the Border Reivers this is the one to go for. Well written and accessible it is the perfect introduction and companion to the History of the region. This is a traditional solid history book from ...
  • The Reivers: The Story of the Border Reivers by Alistair Moffat
    Synopsis Only one period in history is immediately, indelibly and uniquely linked to the whole area of the Scottish and English Border country, and that is the time of the Reivers. Whenever anyone mentions ‘Reiver’, no-one hesitates to add ‘Border’. It is an inextricable association, and rightly so. Nowhere else in Britain in the modern era, ...
  • Fortress 70: Strongholds of the Border Reivers: Fortifications of the Anglo-Scottish Border 1296-1603 by Keith Durham
    In the year 1296, Edward I of England launched a series of vicious raids across the Anglo-Scottish Border in his attempt to annexe Scotland. The Scots retaliated and the two countries were plunged into 300 years of war in which the Borderland became the frontline and raiding, or ‘reiving,’ encouraged by both sides, became a ...
  • Exploring Border Reivers History by Philip Nixon
    The Border Country has always been a wild area, both in landscape and in history. It has seen many years of war and turmoil, but is an area of great beauty and has the capacity to imprint its unique charisma on every visitor. It is a fascinating and romantic area and yet the stories of ...
  • Border Fury: England and Scotland at War 1296-1568
    This books gives a useful insight in the wars that were crossing the borders that the Reiver families lived in. For three hundred years England and Scotland fought a bitter series of wars for territorial enlargement. Border Fury provides a fascinating account of the period of Anglo-Scottish Border conflict from the Edwardian invasions of 1296 until ...
  • The Candlemass Road by George MacDonald Fraser
    George MacDonald Fraser uses his knowledge of the Border Reivers to create a number of enthralling novels set against the backdrop of the turbulent borders. To the young Lady Margaret Dacre, raised in the rich security of Queen Elizabeth’s court, the Scottish border was a land of blood and brutal violence, where raid and murder were ...
  • The Borders by Alistair Moffat
    This is the story of the border: a place of beginnings and endings, of differences and similarities. It is the story of England and Scotland, told not from the remoteness of London or Edinburgh or in the tired terms of national histories, but up close and personal, toe to toe and eyeball to eyeball across ...

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  1. I have written a book about the capture and rescue of Kinmont Willie Armstrong. It is in print and runs to some 290 pages and includes about 55 photos taken by myself of places associated with Kinmont’s capture and rescue. There are also copies of some wonderful paintings of the border reivers by a local artist.
    The book is in hardback and can be viewed at
    I wonder if you would review the book with a view to adding it to your web-site,

    Tom Moss.

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