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

by Nigel G. Tranter

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1414131,145 (3.75)19
Scotland at the end of the 13th century 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.… (more)

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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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