Books about William Wallace
Tales of Sir William Wallace
This book by Tom Scott is adapted from The Wallas of Blin Hary. The minstrel,
Blind Harry was blind from birth, and in those days (15th Century), the
Church taught the blind to memorise and recite poems and tales as the
means for earning a living. It is possible, but unlikely, that he composed
the poems himself, but the text of the original prose if it ever existed
in document form, is lost. Harry said in one of his poems that it was
derived from a Latin original which someone translated for him.
We do have written versions of Blind Harry's work. Here is a bit:
"We rede of ane rycht famouss of renowne,
Of worthi blude that ryngis in this regioune,
And hensfurth I will my process hald,
Of Wilyham Wallas yhe haf hard beyne tald"
Published in 1981 by Gordon Wright
Publishing, 55 Marchmont Road, Edinburgh EH9 1HT, Scotland.
William Wallace by Andrew Fisher
This biography by Andrew Fisher is excellent for the history buff. It
has an exhaustive list of references and investigates all aspects of his
life and character. As a result, it provides a more authentic portrait of
the great hero than many previous biographies.
Published in 1986 by John Donald
Publishers Ltd, 138 St. Stephen Street, Edinburgh, Scotland.
William Wallace, A Scots Life by Glenn Telfer
This book by Glenn Telfer is written in lowland Scots - a version of
English that may be slightly hard for the non-Scottish reader. If you
read it out loud you may understand it better. The language is like "Ridley Walker"
or "The Color Purple" in that respect. It is intended for young adults. Here is a bit:
"As news o Heselrigg's killin spread, the rebellion against the English
was gied a muckle boost. Wallace becam the maist famous man in
Published in 1995 by Argyll Publishing, Glendaruel, Argyll PA22 3AE, Scotland.
William Wallace, The King's Enemy by D.J. Gray
Another scholarly biography complete with references, this time by D.
J. Gray, a historical researcher from Stirling who has specialized in the
age of Wallace and Bruce.
Published in 1991 by Robert Hale Ltd, Clerkenwell House, Clerkenwell
Green, London EC1R 0HT, England
The Wallace by Nigel Tranter
Published first in 1975, this novel by Nigel Tranter was a best-seller
in Scotland. Obviously, it has no connection to Braveheart, as have none
of these books - all were written before the film was released. The blurb
on the cover of this paperback reads
"William Wallace - a man of violent passions and unquenchable spirit, the
natural leader of a proud race." A good read.
Tranter has also written many popular novels about other
historical figures (The Bruce, Macbeth, Bonnie Prince Charlie). He had
this to say about the Scots:
"The Scottish people have always been independent, individualistic,
awkward if you like- and have long memories. Also their land is
sufficiently dramatic in itself. There is scarcely a yard of the country
without its story to tell, of heroism and treachery, of warfare or worship,
of flourish or folly or heartbreak - for the Scots never did anything by
half. This, the most ancient kingdom in Christendom, has more castles,
abbeys, battlefields, graveyards, monuments, stone-circles, inscribed
stones, and relics of every kind - and eyesores too, admittedly - than any
other land of its size, in Highlands and Lowlands, mainland and
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