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Robert the Bruce: King of the Scots

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  29 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Robert the Bruce (1274–1329) famously defeated the English at Bannockburn and became the hero king responsible for Scottish independence. In this fascinating new biography of the renowned warrior, Michael Penman focuses on Robert’s kingship in the fifteen years that followed his triumphant victory and establishes Robert as not only a great military leader but a great monar ...more
Paperback, 456 pages
Published August 28th 2018 by Yale University Press (first published January 1st 2014)
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3.59  · 
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 ·  29 ratings  ·  12 reviews


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Chris
Disclaimer: ARC read via Netgalley.

It’s all Braveheart’s fault. Totally. Mel Gibson’s movie about Scotland’s Freedom Fight, William Wallace, might be one of the reasons why there is shortly going to be a vote about the dissolution of the union, but it sure as hell played fast and loose with history.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if, when asked about Robert the Bruce, most Americans said something like “you mean that guy who sold out Braveheart?”

This is a shame because, in many ways, it is because
...more
James Taylor
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-scottish
There is much to commend this biography of King Robert. Until now the principal biography of Robert I has been GWS Barrow's Robert Bruce and the Community of the Realm, which was first published in 1965 and has been published in four editions. Barrow's Bruce, however, pays scant attention to the post-Bannockburn period. This omission was never addressed by Barrow; Penman, hoever, concentrates on the fifteen years from Bannockburn to the king's death in 1329.

There is much in the post-Bannockburn
...more
Melisende d'Outremer
This turbulent period in Scottish history produced a vast array of interesting characters, none more so that Robert the Bruce (seventh of that name). A man who straddled both sides of the political fence, who gave all, lost all, and ultimately won all for Scotland. A man surrounding by just as much mythology as William Wallace or the Black Douglas, and yet fact proves much more interesting than fiction.

This scholarly work would surely have a place on the bookshelf of both the student and academi
...more
H. P.
Feb 13, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
There is no Scotland without Robert the Bruce.

Braveheart features the Bruce in a bit role that is only a little bit historical. Outlaw/King is centered on the Bruce but, like most accounts, it only tells the tale of how he won the realm, not how he kept it. Penman’s account’s primary selling point is that he devotes as much attention to the Bruce’s post-Bannockburn career as to what happens before.

Sadly, Penman falls into the academic history trap of sucking all of the tremendous inherent drama
...more
Nancy Goldberg Wilks
Robert the Bruce: King of the Scots is a detailed biography of the famous Scottish king written by Historian Michael Penman. As I am an amateur armchair historian, I feel ill-equipped to review this massive, detailed, professional work.

Before reading the book, I was aware of Bannockburn and fascinated by Robert the Bruce – but, I was aware of little else. This immense historical tome has changed that.

Although Penman claims that Robert the Bruce focuses on Robert’s fifteen year rule after Banno
...more
Jeff Scott
Most people would remember Robert the Bruce from the movie Braveheart. While it wasn’t the most flattering portrayal, Penman’s academic biography goes further to reveal his alliance with the English to obtain the Scottish throne, his murder of John Comyn to do the same, and how it really wasn’t until the death of Edward I, that he made any progress in sustaining his kingdom. What I find particularly interesting is that popular books and series, such as Game of Thrones, pale in comparison to the ...more
Heather
Rating: 3.5 stars

I have read more than my fair share of books on medieval English history, and feel like it's high time I hear "the other side of the story", so to speak. Robert the Bruce is this legendary Scottish king that most people don't know much about other than he defeated the English at Bannockburn (or that he seemed pretty much like a traitor in Braveheart). This book will end that deficit for you, perhaps a bit too much.

This is a highly technical, dense historical book. That warning s
...more
Odette Cortés
So with this book I am on the fence. Yes, it is filled with information; names, places, years, everything might need to know and wonder about the history of Scotland and Robert the Bruce. No, there is not really a story, but facts, lots and lots of facts piled on top of each other. Therefore the reading wasn’t easy. Therefore if you are going to read this for a paper this is perfect, if its for curiosity or light reading I wouldn't recommend it.

Michael Penman’s Robert the Bruce: King of Scots i
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Adele
Sep 03, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow, what an incredibly detailed book. Unfortunately, it was so detailed, it completely left me behind. Great for scholarly historians, not so much for those with a passing interest.
Amy
Sep 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Robert the Bruce is an excellent book to read about the Scottish king. I thought it was well researched and documented. Recommended.
5 stars.
Taylor Kniphfer
Nov 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
The best scholarly account of the life and reign of Robert the Bruce, King of Scots.
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