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The Wallace: The Compelling 13th Century Story of William Wallace (Coronet…

by Nigel G. Tranter

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1485136,547 (3.72)19
At the end of the 13th century, Scotland was a blood-torn country suffering under the harsh domination of a tyrant usurper, the hated Plantagenet, Edward Longshanks. During the appalling violence of those unsettled days, one man rose to become leader of the Scots. That man was William Wallace. Motivated at first by revenge for the slaughter of his father, Wallace vowed to cleanse his country of the English and set the rightful king, Robert the Bruce, upon the Scottish throne. Though Wallace was a heroic figure, he was but a man - and his chosen path was to lead him through grievous danger and personal tragedy before the final outcome . . . Praise for Nigel Tranter: 'One of Scotland's most prolific and respected writers' Times 'Through his imaginative dialogue, he provides a voice for Scotland's heroes' Scotland on Sunday… (more)

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Showing 5 of 5
Once more I return to Nigel Tranter, for a dose of Scottish history...served with a bit of sex, three things you cannot do with a two-handed sword on horseback, and a lot of geographical information about mountain passes in Scotland. The book deals with the complexities of feudal politics, and the problems of self-interest as opposed to national service. The noble Scots are not on their best behaviour during the Wallace-led revolt, and this is fully shown. There is even some exploration of less than heroic behaviour on the part of Robert Bruce. Tranter's joy in exploring genealogy also intrudes just a bit, and is on a par with that of Sharon K. Penman, another competent explorer in this genealogical swamp. But I find , as this is medieval politics, that family has got some share in what happens. So, this book is worth reading, even if one is a bit of a friend of Edward I of England, for,after all it is interesting to know what the neighbours think. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Aug 8, 2020 |
In this book, Nigel Tranter tells the story of William Wallace, son of a small knight of Elderslie, who ended up jump-starting resistance to Edward Longshanks of England, fighting on behalf of the deposed John Balliol and eventually, by his actions, setting Robert the Bruce on the path to the Scottish throne.

As one comes to expect with a Tranter book, this one is rich in detail and does a fairly good job of balancing the needs of informing the reader with advancing the plot in a non-clunky way. I’m sure some liberties have been taken to the presentation of history to make things more immersive or relatable for the modern reader, but overall I’m prepared to accept those. What really surprised me, and what I had to keep in mind, was that Wallace was just 26 years old when he started his campaigns. That’s only slightly older than my brother is now—and it’s not a fact that comes to mind when I think about him. Even the painting of him on the cover of my edition makes him seem much older.

Speaking of my edition, it’s a Coronet Books mass market paperback and makes an error in attributing the painting. Well, I don’t doubt that it was painted by George Jamesone, but the back cover listing the art credit seemed to be giving Jamesone *Wallace’s* birth and death dates. “Jamesone did NOT live from 1274 to 1305,” I said. “He was in the 1600s!” And the text contained a fair number of typos, so maybe don’t read this particular edition. But the story itself is great. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Aug 3, 2019 |
This was a pretty dry read... I really struggled to read it. Full of facts but I would have enjoyed a little personal touch. I'm glad I read it, to learn more about The Wallace... but it was hard to read. ( )
  CrystalW | Dec 15, 2015 |
This was a pretty dry read... I really struggled to read it. Full of facts but I would have enjoyed a little personal touch. I'm glad I read it, to learn more about The Wallace... but it was hard to read. ( )
  CrystalW | Dec 15, 2015 |
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At the end of the 13th century, Scotland was a blood-torn country suffering under the harsh domination of a tyrant usurper, the hated Plantagenet, Edward Longshanks. During the appalling violence of those unsettled days, one man rose to become leader of the Scots. That man was William Wallace. Motivated at first by revenge for the slaughter of his father, Wallace vowed to cleanse his country of the English and set the rightful king, Robert the Bruce, upon the Scottish throne. Though Wallace was a heroic figure, he was but a man - and his chosen path was to lead him through grievous danger and personal tragedy before the final outcome . . . Praise for Nigel Tranter: 'One of Scotland's most prolific and respected writers' Times 'Through his imaginative dialogue, he provides a voice for Scotland's heroes' Scotland on Sunday

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