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Late Middle Ages (1300–1500) > Wars of Scottish Independence

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message 1: by Ireney (last edited Dec 28, 2011 12:10AM) (new)

Ireney Berezniak Our talk about the Tudors and more kick-ass events of English history, such us the Norman invasion, or the subsequent reign of Plantagenets, rekindled my interest in the Wars of Scottish Independence, resided over by Edwards I, II, and III. This interest in particular was sparked by the movie Braveheart, which to this day remains among my favorite historical films of all time >8P However, I've never had the pleasure of reading any historical fiction on the subject.

Listed below are a few titles that I am aware of ... all of these focus on the first war ... more suggestions would be welcome!

First & Second Wars of Scottish Independence - Fiction

The Douglas Trilogy

A series by J.R. Tomlin narrating the exploits of James Douglas. Second book set for release in February 2012.

A Kingdom's Cost (The Douglas Trilogy #1) by J.R. Tomlin

The Kingdom Trilogy

New trilogy by Robert Low set in the First War of Scottish Independence. Second novel due out in February 2012.

The Lion Wakes (Kingdom Series #1) by Robert Low The Lion at Bay (Kingdom Series, #2) by Robert Low

N. Gemini Sasson's Bruce Trilogy

Tells the story of Robert The Bruce beginning in 1290 until his death (?) in 1329.

The Crown in the Heather (The Bruce Trilogy, #1) by N. Gemini Sasson Worth Dying For (The Bruce Trilogy, #2) by N. Gemini Sasson The Honor Due a King (The Bruce Trilogy, #3) by N. Gemini Sasson

Nigel Tranter's Bruce Trilogy

This trilogy tells the story of Robert the Bruce and how, tutored and encouraged by the heroic William Wallace, he determined to continue the fight for an independent Scotland, sustained by a passionate love for his land.

Robert the Bruce Steps to the Empty Throne (Robert the Bruce, #1) by Nigel Tranter Robert the Bruce Path of the Hero King (Robert the Bruce, #2) by Nigel Tranter Robert the Bruce The Price of the King's Peace (Robert the Bruce, #3) by Nigel Tranter

The Bravehearts Chronicles

New trilogy from Jack Whyte created to tell the tales of William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, and James Douglas. "The Forest Laird", first in the series, focuses on William Wallace.

The Forest Laird by Jack Whyte

Freedom's Sword

Written by J.R. Tomlin, the novel follows the exploits of Andrew de Morray, a lesser known hero of the Wars of Scottish Independence.

Freedom's Sword by J.R. Tomlin

The Wallace

Another title by Nigel Tranter. As per title, William Wallace is the subject of this novel.

The Wallace by Nigel Tranter

Insurrection

Robyn Young's depiction of Robert the Bruce, beginning with the revolt in 1297.

Insurrection by Robyn Young

The Great Scot

Yet another Robert the Bruce story. Here, Duncan A. Bruce appears to focus on events following Bruce's coronation in 1306.

The Great Scot A Novel of Robert the Bruce, Scotland's Legendary Warrior King by Duncan A. Bruce

First & Second Wars of Scottish Independence - Non-fiction

Assorted non-fiction recommendations.

Robert Bruce And the Community of the Realm of Scotland by G.W.S. Barrow The Scottish War of Independence by Evan M. Barron Robert the Bruce King of Scots by Ronald McNair Scott On the Trail of Robert the Bruce  by David R. Ross On the Trail of William Wallace  by David R. Ross James the Good The Black Douglas by David R. Ross

Later Period:

Non-fiction:

Steel Bonnets The Story of the Anglo-Scottish Border Reivers by George MacDonald Fraser

Fiction:

The Candlemass Road by George MacDonald Fraser

ib.


message 2: by CB (new)

CB Edwards | 17 comments JR Tomlin has another book after Freedom's Sword called A Kingdom's Cost. I read Freedom's Sword and recommend it.


message 3: by Lee (new)

Lee Broderick | 482 comments Thanks Ireney, this is a period of history that absolutely captivated me at school, but I've never read any historic fiction on the stuff. Bernard Cornwell's Grail Quest trilogy is this period (Edward III on the throne) but focuses on the wars in France rather than Scotland (although there is one battle up that way, in Vagabond I think). The only other thing I know of, but have never got around to reading is Jean Plaidy's Plantagenet saga.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Not fiction, but very much related and exceptionally well written. Steel Bonnets: The Story of the Anglo-Scottish Border Reivers. Fiction of the same era by the same author: The Candlemass Road.


message 5: by Michael (last edited Nov 09, 2011 10:26AM) (new)

Michael Jecks (michaeljecks) | 99 comments Craig wrote: "Not fiction, but very much related and exceptionally well written. Steel Bonnets: The Story of the Anglo-Scottish Border Reivers. Fiction of the same era by the same author: [book:The..."

Steel bonnets is much later than middle ages. George MacDonald Fraser wrote it about the hellish 1500s, and Candlemas Road was a fictionalised story set in around 1590 (I think). Both superb books. GMF was without a doubt a superb writer about fighting men - his experiences in Burma in WWII drew him to soldiers of all kinds.

I don't think there are too many Bruce-era Scottish stories, sadly. Most are here already!


message 6: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments This is a bit of a hole for me too. I have read much non fiction, but as far as fiction goes...nada. Oh, well, yes, except for, as Lee mentioned, the Grail Quest by Cornwell.
If I have read anything else on this period of history, I can't remember and will have to think on it.

I am hoping to get to The Lion Wakes by the end of the year (as soon as it comes into the library and it is on order).

by the by..
Ireney showed the cover;
The Lion Wakes (Kingdom Series, #1) by Robert Low
I was under the impression that this was to be the Commonwealth cover. But this is the cover that the library has ordered;
The Lion Wakes (Kingdom Series #1) by Robert Low

tre cool.


message 7: by Ireney (new)

Ireney Berezniak Thanks for the suggestions.

A Kingdom's Cost: sounds intriguing. I see that it was just published a few months ago and it is first in a planned trilogy. Digging around, I found that the next book, entitled Countenance of War, will be available in January, and J.R. Tomlin posted a short preview of it on her blog.

For Kindle readers, this title can be had for $3.99USD ... a steal!

I'll also add Craig's suggestion to the top of the page for consolidated access, and mark it as "later period".

... but I'm not sure about Jean Plaidy's saga ... all the pretty princesses locked in tender embraces with strapping young lads on the covers strike fear into my heart >8)

ib.


message 8: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments I know you have already linked this one Ireney, but I thought I'd mention that, coincidentally, I just saw a GR friend rate The Crown in the Heather (The Bruce Trilogy, #1) by N. Gemini Sasson The Crown in the Heather quite well.


message 9: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (last edited Nov 10, 2011 01:47PM) (new)

Terri | 19503 comments Ireney wrote: "... but I'm not sure about Jean Plaidy's saga ... all the pretty princesses locked in tender embraces with strapping young lads on the covers strike fear into my heart >8)."

Is it fear...or bile? :\ Maybe both?

I have read a couple Jean Plaidy...in another time, in another state of mind, a couple decades ago when I was a hormonal teen. Too girlie for me now.


message 10: by Lee (new)

Lee Broderick | 482 comments Ireney wrote: "... but I'm not sure about Jean Plaidy's saga ... all the pretty princesses locked in tender embraces with strapping young lads on the covers strike fear into my heart >8)"

I was never sure, but that's the exact fear that's stopped me from ever reading them.


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Just a gentle reminder.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzG_J7...


message 12: by J.R. (last edited Nov 11, 2011 06:03PM) (new)

J.R. Tomlin (jrtomlin) Ireney and CB, thanks for mentioning my novels! I hope it's all right to comment since they have been mentioned.

On the subject of Jean Plaidy, in addition to being rather girlie, her work is entirely from the point of view of an Anglophile. Now this is fine if one happens to be an Anglophile but you can hardly expect to get a story that is sympathetic to the Scots from her. And you won't.

I must admit that I'm no fan of Braveheart either because of how fast and loose it played with history.

I understand the new novel out by Robert Low is quite good, but I haven't read it. I have also heard very good things about Crown in the Heather. Because I'm writing about the same period and people, for the time being I am not reading any fiction on it.

As far as my own novels, thank you again for mentioning them. I admit that they are from a Scotophile, but I do try to look at the war in a balanced way. When your country is invaded and conquered, sometimes you're put to hard choices. That was the case with the Scots in my novels. What they were forced to wasn't always pretty. However, I try to show some balance in the novels. They are a long way from girly or romances, but I do show some of the domestic side of their lives.

I do have a new novel coming out early next year.

As far as non-fiction, I highly, HIGHLY recommend GWS Barrow's "Robert Bruce and the Community of the Realm of Scotland" but it is a fairly academic work. Barron's "Scottish War of Independence" is also very good but not for the reader with no background in Scottish history. A somewhat more accessible book requiring less knowledge of Scottish history is Ronald McNeil Scott's "Robert Bruce King of the Scots".

Edit: To be honest, although I admire Tranter tremendously, I can't recommend his Wallace. However, I did enjoy his Bruce Trilogy very much.


message 13: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (last edited Nov 11, 2011 06:00PM) (new)

Terri | 19503 comments J.R. wrote: "I understand the new novel out by Robert Low is quite good, but I haven't read it. Because I'm writing about the same period and people, I won't read any new fiction on it until my own novels are completed.."

Hi J.R.

I am getting more and more excited about reading
The Lion Wakes (Kingdom Series #1) by Robert Low .
I mean, it's no secret in my household that I get excited at the thought of a new Robert Low book anyway. And now that the Oathsworn series is supposedly kaput, I am ready and willing to dive into the new Kingdom Series.

Add to that, the positive buzz to The Lion Wakes and I am perfectly giddy. :)

I will look for your book when it comes, J.R. I can rarely find non girlie female authors. lol. And I will be pleased to find a diamond in the rough.


message 14: by J.R. (last edited Nov 11, 2011 06:11PM) (new)

J.R. Tomlin (jrtomlin) Thanks, Terri. I really enjoyed Low's Oathsword series so I look forward to when I can read this one.

So far no one has ever accused me of writing a girly novel, so I think you might be pleased. *grin*

Edit: And it is nice to find a historical novel group where everyone isn't drooling over the bloody Tudors. *eye roll*


message 15: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (last edited Nov 11, 2011 06:13PM) (new)

Terri | 19503 comments J.R. wrote: "Edit: And it is nice to find a historical novel group where everyone isn't drooling over the bloody Tudors. *eye roll* ..."

Tell me about it! *joins J.R. in a mutual eye roll session*.


message 16: by J.R. (new)

J.R. Tomlin (jrtomlin) Ok, I'm going to make one brief post about my own novels and I promise I won't spam about them, but people here might like a further clue what they're about.

"Freedom's Sword" begins with the initial English invasion and the main character is Andrew de Moray who successfully raised the north of Scotland while Wallace was in the south. "A Kingdom's Cost" follows the early career of James, Lord of Douglas, called the Black Douglas by his English enemies. He was King Robert the Bruce's most faithful follower during that period of the war.

So that is what those are. And I won't talk about them any more. Promise. :-)


message 17: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments I should mention, while we're rolling eyes over the Tudor period, that I do read the Matthew Shardlake Series by C.J. Sansom. :\
So, seems I am not completely against fiction set during the Tudor period.


message 18: by J.R. (new)

J.R. Tomlin (jrtomlin) I suppose I'm not either since I enjoyed Mantell's Wolf Hall. Just mostly. ;-)


message 19: by Lee (last edited Nov 14, 2011 12:31PM) (new)

Lee Broderick | 482 comments Thanks for chipping in J.R.


message 20: by Ireney (new)

Ireney Berezniak Welcome to the group J.R.! Thank you for your comments. Don't be shy about posting about your work ... in fact, feel free to create new threads to discuss your novels, or at least to tell us when the next in your Douglas Trilogy arrives >8) I did find your blog and it sounds like the plan is to have it ship in beginning of 2012?

ib.


message 21: by Ireney (last edited Nov 14, 2011 07:56PM) (new)

Ireney Berezniak While checking up on Jack Whyte to see what he was up to after his Templar Trilogy, which I mentioned in Terri's The Crusades thread, I found that last year he published the first in the series of novels focused on the Wars of Scottish Independence. Another one to the list!

The Forest Laird by Jack Whyte

ib.


message 22: by J.R. (new)

J.R. Tomlin (jrtomlin) Ireney wrote: "Welcome to the group J.R.! Thank you for your comments. Don't be shy about posting about your work ... in fact, feel free to create new threads to discuss your novels, or at least to tell us when..."

Thanks. I really appreciate that. Yes, it will be shipping in February 2012 so only a few more months. It covers a very exciting period in the War and in the lives of the people who fought it.

I hadn't heard of Jack Whyte's series so that sounds interesting as well. Eventually, I'll no longer be writing about it and start reading fiction again. At the moment, I stick with non-fiction but I'll have a good list to look forward to. :-)

There is another series of non-fiction on the period that I have to recommend by David R. Ross. He wrote a series of books that actually traces the steps of the Scottish heros including information about the places, what they did there and a lot of photos and maps. So you might want to check out "On the Trail of Robert the Bruce", "On the Trail of William Wallace", and "James the Good, The Black Douglas". They are very accessible and you don't have to be an expert on Scotland or its history to enjoy them.


message 23: by Ireney (new)

Ireney Berezniak I've reorganized the top of the thread a little to give slightly more prominence to the various trilogies and single book novels, and added non-fiction recommendations for this period.

Looking at the list, a decent volume of reading is available on the subject!

ib.


message 24: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments I have started The Lion Wakes. I'll have to put it aside to read another book in a few days (this is happening a fair bit lately).

50 pages in and so far, Mr Low has not let me down. Good to be reading one of his books again.

The Lion Wakes (Kingdom Series #1) by Robert Low


message 25: by Tim (last edited Jan 19, 2012 01:30PM) (new)

Tim Hodkinson (timhodkinson) | 577 comments I want to strike a discordant chord here: Braveheart was the movie that prompted me to write my own novel, not because it was so stirring, but because it was so historically untruthful that it had me shouting at the screen.
The thing that really annoys me about the generally accepted heroic narrative of the Scottish Wars of Independance is that it tends to ignore the fact that the first thing the Scots did after they won freedom at Bannockburn was invade Ireland, where they inflicted 3 years of misery, devastation and slaughter. Nobody ever mentions that. I love Robert Low's destinctly unheroic take on the whole time and look forward to finishing the rest of the trilogy. I also concur with his portrait of the Bruce brothers.
Once again sorry for a blatent spam, but if your are interested in a counterpoint to Braveheart etc. you could check out my book
Lions of the Grail
Lions of the Grail by Tim Hodkinson


message 26: by Tim (last edited Jan 19, 2012 01:34PM) (new)

Tim Hodkinson (timhodkinson) | 577 comments Oops that sounded a bit angry. I'm just trying to say that the generally accepted narrative isn't always the only point of view on historical events, and who is to say which is "true"?


message 27: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments That was blatant indeed. ;)

This is why I didn't like the movie Braveheart. I thought it was a good story, but not a good movie. If that makes sense. I saw it once and watched half of it many, many years later when it came to tv, but I didn't like the fabricated 'Hollywood' aspects of the movie.
The affair with the Queen was absolute bollocks and annoyed me immensely.

The thing I have noticed, however, in The Lion Wakes by Robert low, is that Low depicts Wallace with his Scotsmans love of this heroic figure. Enormous, larger than all men, uses a 'hand and a half' sword with one hand while all other men need two hands.
I wondered while reading all this whether this is the hero that Scotsmen see when they speak of him, or is it what the real man was like....???


message 28: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (last edited Jan 19, 2012 01:36PM) (new)

Terri | 19503 comments Tim wrote: "Oops that sounded a bit angry."

No it didn't. :) Don't worry. I can thoroughly understand your not sugar coating your feelings of Braveheart. I get passionate about these things too.


message 29: by Lee (new)

Lee Broderick | 482 comments Braveheart was historically inaccurate, but then so are a lot of films, and I think most people know that about Braveheart at least.


message 30: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments Lee wrote: "Braveheart was historically inaccurate, but then so are a lot of films, and I think most people know that about Braveheart at least."

I have come across a lot of people who don't realise it is small percentage true....but we are only the Colonies, you kind of expect that kind of ignorance from convicts. :)


message 31: by Tim (last edited Jan 19, 2012 01:48PM) (new)

Tim Hodkinson (timhodkinson) | 577 comments Oh, and many thanks to JR, who recommended "Robert the Bruce's Irish Wars" to me on another forum: Its been proving an invaluable resource in writing a sequel.
Robert the Bruce's Irish Wars; The Invasions of Ireland, 1306-1329 by Sean Duffy


message 32: by Dar B (new)

Dar B (ruminatingbulls) | 137 comments Wow! Thanks Ireney for this thread and thanks to all of you for your suggestions. My TBR list has increased dramatically!

I'm sorry Terri, but your "convict" comment made me actually laugh out loud! I feel that most people who are interested in movies like Braveheart do know that it is inaccurate. Like your penchant for some of today's tv shows, I like movies like Braveheart for their entertainment value (scantily clad well-muscled men, screaming tribally, as they fight).

As for Jean Plaidy, not only is she an Angliophile, she usually writes from a woman's point of view. It is in third person but she tends to centralize on one woman character, so the events seem somewhat slanted to her view. The battles are not described in detail, but I don't think that she is incredibly feminine in her style. She sometimes has a bit of romance but it is usually to display the real relationships that she is writing about. She is a decent writer, just not excellent, and does not hold a candle to Bernard Cornwell, and it sounds like it's the same for several of these mentioned authors. For me, though, Jean Plaidy has been good for freshening up on basic details, plus I can find her books for cheap at flea markets and yard sales.


message 33: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments hahaha! :D
That is good Darla. I was giggling when I wrote that about the convicts and I am glad it made someone else giggle too.


message 34: by Dawn (new)

Dawn (caveatlector) | 5208 comments Okay, I had no idea that Braveheart was so inaccurate. Can I blame that on being a colonist too!! (even if I don't come from the prison island)

I don't know much about Scottish history but I'm with Darla when it coms to scantily clad well muscled men in movies!! :)


message 35: by Lee (new)

Lee Broderick | 482 comments Terri wrote: "hahaha! :D
That is good Darla. I was giggling when I wrote that about the convicts and I am glad it made someone else giggle too."


Historical footnote that you may find interesting:

I spent a lot of summers as a kid on a place called Lundy Island (I love it and finally went back there as an adult last year). For most of its history it seemed to be ruled by various pirates and ne'er-do-wells.

In the early part of the nineteenth century it was owned by a gentleman who bought the British government contract for transporting convicts to Australia. Instead, he transported them to Lundy and set them to work quarrying, building walls, etc. Basically his own private army of slaves. When this was eventually discovered and he was hauled up in front of a judge in London he explained that the contract didn't stipulate Australia but "a place of toil and suffering across the seas".


message 36: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments That is a great story. Thankyou very much, Lee. I will tell my Dad that story, he will be most interested to hear it.
A place of toil or suffering hey. Sounds about right. I mean, that's the kind of descriptions they used to use alright.


message 37: by Tim (new)

Tim Hodkinson (timhodkinson) | 577 comments Terri wrote: "That was blatant indeed. ;)

The thing I have noticed, however, in The Lion Wakes by Robert low, is that Low depicts Wallace with his Scotsmans love of this heroic figure. Enormous, larger than all men, uses a 'hand and a half' sword with one hand while all other men need two hands.
I wondered while reading all this whether this is the hero that Scotsmen see when they speak of him, or is it what the real man was like....??? ."


I saw his sword once, and there's little doubt he was a big man. That probably sounds a bit like something from "Benny Hill", so to explain, I visited the Wallace monument in Scotland and his sword is on display there. Its about the same height as I am. If he was able to swing that thing he must have been a big fellow and if he could do it one handed he must have been massive.


message 38: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments hahahaha!!!! Yes, that did rather sound like something from Benny Hill.

I wonder if he swung it with two hands like everyone else did with swords of that kind. And, dare I say, being the leader that he was, wanting to be feared and respected by his English enemies, did he perhaps have a sword fashioned for him that was larger than was required?

Without being there I guess we'll never know.:)

Thanks for the info on the big sword though. That helps me being too skeptical now, as I read The Lion Wakes.


message 39: by Ireney (last edited Jan 21, 2012 10:21PM) (new)

Ireney Berezniak I feel as though I need to stand up for Braveheart. When I watched it back in mid-90s, I had no idea whether it was historically accurate or not, although Wallace's romance with the queen did immediately appear farfetched ... a bit of research afterwards unearthed all sorts of historical inaccuracies, and it became obvious that Braveheart was only loosely based on the characters and events of that time.

As I mentioned in some other threads, creative embellishments are nearly impossible escape in film, or big productions at least, where preference is given to mass appeal over the finer historical detail. It might have riled the Scots, or the Brits, but I, for one, enjoyed the high-level history, the battle scenes, the humour, even the cheesy drama and cliched theme of romance and revenge ... maybe it was the adolescent in me >8)

What movies like Braveheart do most of all, is raise awareness about some historical episodes that most people are simply ignorant of. Sure, it was somewhat melodramatic and historically inaccurate at times, but no one else made a movie on the subject. At the time, I only knew that Scotland existed and neighboured England on the island ... it was that movie that inspired me to learn more about its history. It is quite possible that I would not learn of the wars if it wasn't for Braveheart, and it is also within the realm of possibility that I would not be reading your books on the subject, dear authors. In fact, one could go so far as and date to suggest that you are riding the coattails of this trash historical production!

... in my case, anyway >8)

ib.


message 40: by Ireney (last edited Jan 21, 2012 10:21PM) (new)

Ireney Berezniak Ah, also, I meant to ask if anyone had seen The Bruce before I prematurely clicked the "Post" button. It was made in 1996, a year after Braveheart, and though I've been aware of its existence, I had never crossed paths with it here in Canada.

ib.


message 41: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments Nope, I haven't seen the Bruce.

At the risk of sounding like a history snob. :) You are the exact audience that Hollywood targets when they make a hash of the history that belongs to a country other than their own. The British Empire (or other).

Think of it this way. Where your family came from. If Hollywood made a movie about a nations history that you are linked to. About a legendary figure of your history, would you expect them to screw it completely up and just make crap up as they went? :) lol I think you'd expect as close to factual as possible.
The Americans would. I have no doubt. If it was Gettysburg or the battle of Baton Rouge.


message 42: by Ireney (last edited Jan 22, 2012 12:51AM) (new)

Ireney Berezniak I understand the dislike the Scots or Brits may have towards the movie completely. I'm certainly not arguing against that. I come from a country that was forced to present its own history through filters of Communist censorship, omitting and sometimes even tweaking the facts to appease the overlords in Moscow. I still resent that myself. I grew up having a skewed view of the world ... it was a bit of a shock to come to Canada and learn that certain events didn't exactly transpire as you were taught in school.

I'm not asking for the Scots or the Brits to like the movie either, only to see certain benefits that it may have produced >8)

Personally, I like when Hollywood makes movies set in my old country ... even if they are controversial! I tend to be a history snob myself, but beggars can't be choosers, and I'm more lenient to historical discrepancies in film adaptations than I am to similar tweaks in novels. The latest such film, Defiance, received its share of criticism from various groups. Check out the "Response" section of the wikipedia entry for some examples, if you are curious.

ib.


message 43: by Lee (new)

Lee Broderick | 482 comments For all the inaccuracies, most Scots love Bravehart. Even to the extent that a big gathering of Scots is no longer complete without a few Tennants-Super swilling louts painting their faces blue.

We've long grown accustomed to Hollywood inaccuracies over here and are usually big enough to handle it. I'm certain there are exceptions, but can't name them off the top of my head.


message 44: by Tim (new)

Tim Hodkinson (timhodkinson) | 577 comments I loved Defiance :-)


message 45: by J.R. (last edited Mar 06, 2012 10:59AM) (new)

J.R. Tomlin (jrtomlin) Ireney wrote: "I feel as though I need to stand up for Braveheart. When I watched it back in mid-90s, I had no idea whether it was historically accurate or not, although Wallace's romance with the queen did imme..."

But this is politics that still resonates strongly. I can go today to twitter and find a politician attacking Scots because Gibson said that Bruce betrayed Wallace and using this to make political attacks. (Along with his father who was already dead *eye roll*)

I think you have to be very careful about what you say about another country's heroes. I don't think they have to be treated as sacrosanct in the least, but attacks on national heroes should not be spurious. I wonder how Americans would love a movie portraying Washington as conspiring with Cornwallis and that he only won because some idiot forced him to charge.

I'm so SURE the Bruce didn't care that THREE of his brothers had been hanged, drawn and quartered by the English. He defeated them at Bannockburn because he was twiddling with a piece of cloth and some guy in the army gave him a "look". And how convenient that an army three times the size of his just lay down and let his run over them. NOT!

End of Rant. Sorry.


message 46: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments Excellently put, J.R!! Outstanding!

I was speaking with an elderly Scottish couple recently about this Braveheart thing and they had nothing positive to say about the movie. Thought it was a hollywood extravaganza that made a mockery of their history. That it created a set back for their countries history.....seeing as so many foreigners, and even Scots who didn't know their own history, now believe that the Braveheart movie was how it was.


message 47: by J.R. (new)

J.R. Tomlin (jrtomlin) Terri wrote: "That was blatant indeed. ;)

This is why I didn't like the movie Braveheart. I thought it was a good story, but not a good movie. If that makes sense. I saw it once and watched half of it many, man..."

I really dislike the inability to present Wallace as anything but a super-hero. Maybe it is because almost nothing is actually known about the man, but he is always this cardboard cutout character. I have yet to find a novel that treats him otherwise. In
Freedom's Sword, I actually dealt with him as little as possible.


message 48: by J.R. (last edited Mar 06, 2012 03:44PM) (new)

J.R. Tomlin (jrtomlin) Tim wrote: "I want to strike a discordant chord here: Braveheart was the movie that prompted me to write my own novel, not because it was so stirring, but because it was so historically untruthful that it had ..."

I haven't read Low's books so I'm not sure which "Bruce brothers" you are talking about. Let's remember that three of them had been hanged, drawn and quartered by the English by the time of the fighting in Ireland.

And they didn't exactly "invade" Ireland, since Edward Bruce was invited by the Irish. If Low says that the English were fine and dandy invading but the Scots evil, I'd say he was wrong. There was a lot of suffering from famine in Ireland but little of it had to do with the Scots. Personal opinion, I think Robert the Bruce's main goal was to keep the English busy in Ireland.

I would say if you ignore the fact that after Bannockburn the Scots remained at war with England for another thirteen years, you are ignoring the real reason for most of what they did. I don't expect the Bruces to be treated with kid gloves, but if Low has hate going for them, I'll end up skipping his new novels.


message 49: by Terri, Wyrd bið ful aræd (new)

Terri | 19503 comments I read the first of Low's Bruce books. I don't feel there was any hate going for them. But maybe I read it wrong. :-)


message 50: by J.R. (new)

J.R. Tomlin (jrtomlin) That's good then and I really wouldn't expect it from Low. I probably misinterpreted Tim's comment. :-)

I like Low's Oathsworn series a lot so I very much want to read those too.


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