Sunday, August 5, 2012

In the Footsteps of William Wallace in Scotland and Northern England

A work of genuine and solid scholarship, Young and Stead’s In the Footsteps of William Wallace compensates for its dry prose with stunning photography of the places once haunted by the Scottish hero and his comrades. While tracing the Wallace legend back to contemporary sources, the authors sift fact from fiction with careful historical exegesis as with the spirit of detectives they try to determine who the real William Wallace was. That Wallace was indeed a larger-than-life character in the eyes of his contemporaries can be determined from the way he burst into the chronicles out of nowhere to avenge what must surely have been an outrage to his family. Although there are more extant accounts from his enemies than there are from his friends, it is still possible to piece together a coherent portrait of the warrior who came to represent all that was heroic and noble in the Scots and their struggle for independence. This is a work worthy of the most serious historians as well as casual lovers of history.

This review originally appeared in the August 2012 edition of the Historical Novels Review.

(*NOTE: This book was sent to me by the Historical Novel Society in exchange for my honest opinion.)


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