William Wallace (Man and Myth)

William WallaceGraeme Morton

Hardback 214 pages,
Sutton Publishing, 2001
ISBN 0750923792


William Wallace (c. 1270-1305) is truly primal myth material. The champion of Scottish independence, defeated by Edward I and eventually hanged, drawn and quartered in London, he is revered to this day as Scotland's foremost patriot.

Since his death, the Wallace story has been one to inspire, and the cult of Wallace has travelled far beyond Scotland itself, perhaps more so now than ever before.

Yet little of Wallace's life is known. The sources are few and have been distorted over nearly seven centuries through a rush of ballads, penny histories and poems.

This book, based on original research by Scottish historian Graeme Morton, is the first to examine fully both the contemporary sources that are available and the way the many strands of the Wallace myth have been constructed, communicated and appropriated from his death right up to the present day.

Wallace's story has been employed by many groups to support their cause: the proletarian hero, the workers' inspiration, the feminist icon, the supporter and the opponent of union with England since 1707 and the Scottish Parliament of 1999 (the slogan of the SNP being "We're winning with Wallace").

Graeme Morton examines the myth's gradual development, from the medieval Scottish chronicles, through the anti-English fire of Blind Harry's fifteenth-century verse, to a study of the modern 'Braveheart effect'.

This is the story of a great legend, and why he still appeals to many of us. An essential study for specialists and indeed anyone fascinated by the man himself, it shows that the myth is as mush the reality as the truth. Now available in paperback:

William Wallace Paperback

Paperback Edition: 218 pages
(cover, left)
Sutton Publishing, 2004
ISBN 0750935235

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William Wallace on TV

To celebrate the anniversary of William Wallace's death, Graeme participated in the BBC2 documentary, "The Three Lives of William Wallace" shown in August 2005.

Three Lives of William Wallace

Why not view our pictures of Scotland's National Wallace Monument in Stirlingshire via the Photo Gallery.