In 1842, in the midst of a current for tartans and all things Scottish, two brothers published Vestiarium Scoticum, a replica of an ancient catalogue of ancestral clan tartans that they claimed to have been found in a monastery in France. While the book was enthusiastically received by both the public and the clothing industry, there were doubters and critics and claims of outright fraud. But the book persisted and today more than 70 of its tartans are still being worn by the various clans of Scotland, and many still believe that the ancestral designs go back to the dawn of time.
Was Vestiarium Scoticum a genuine ancient text? Or was it a monumental fraud on the public? And who were these so-called “brothers” who claimed to be the grandsons of the Young Pretender, Bonnie Prince Charlie? Darn Good Dandies! weaves its way through the lives and mysteries and countless name changes of the eccentric Sobieski Stuart brothers.