Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Legacy

For anyone who has watched Braveheart (a wonderful tribute to Wallace via Randall Wallace) you know that the legacy of Wallace is still very real even in today's world. There were several times during the centuries since Wallace's death that he has surfaced in Scotland as a byword of freedom and a hero to the people. David R. Ross has said in his books that the Scotland of today is very much like the Scotland of Wallace's day. The same people are still evident. The people who wish more for Scotland and the people who couldn't care less. I think this is why Wallace is very much prominent in today's society, now not only in Scotland, but pretty much world wide. The nineteenth century was another time that Wallace surfaced as a national hero. Sir Walter Scott saw the just of it in his day. He himself was part of it, but he stood up for Wallace as the man he was and did not go so far as to almost worship him as some people were doing back then. Scott understood Wallace and the man himself would have probably been incredibly embarrassed to find how some of the people in nineteenth century Scotland thought about him.

A lot of poetry about Wallace surfaced then as well as one of the most popular translations of Blind Harry's 14th century epic on Wallace The Wallace. There were many other things as well, including Jane Porter's historical novel The Scottish Chiefs. This is a good book and I would recommend it to anyone who is a Wallace fanatic like I am. It definitely reflects the time period by how she portrays Wallace in the story. My one problem with the book: Wallace is blond. More a "Prince Charming" than the warrior hero (I have described this book to friends as "Braveheart meets Jane Austin" which it pretty much the best way I can think to describe it) But I do not mean to deter you from the book, over all I really did enjoy it and thought it was very wonderfully written, though probably more appealing to the female Wallace fanatics!

If you want a more accurate account of Wallace's life in novel form, I cannot recommend The Wallace by Nigel Tranter highly enough. It might be more of a hard read for anyone who is not a punished reader, it's mainly a history book in novel form, but it is really a wonderful account and anyone who has read any of Nigel Tranter's books will know that he is an amazing writer. If you haven't: he's am amazing writer! And I dare you not to cry in the end!

One last book to recommend (and I think it's actually on my book list) but it's William Wallace: Man and Myth by Morton Graeme. I thought it was a very intriguing book and goes into a lot more detail on what I was talking about in this post. Not really a history book, but one for any Wallace fanatic.

As a close to my Wallace month, I thought it fitting to post a link to probably one of the most popular songs in Scotland: Flower of Scotland sung by, who else but The Corries?

I hope you have enjoyed reading about Wallace. Come back in September so we can celebrate his greatest victory together!

Slainte, Hazel

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