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Freedom's Sword: The Scottish Wars of Independence [Hardcover]

Peter Traquair
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Jun 1998

Freedom’s Sword is a popular history of the longest period of conflict between Scotland and England. Beginning with the true story of William Wallace and his rebellion (subject of the Mel Gibson movie Braveheart), it goes on to cover the spectacular career of Robert the Bruce, arguably Scotland’s most capable military leader of all time.

Freedom’s Sword continues after Bruce’s death, revealing how Scottish invasions of northern England were finally halted and peace negotiated at Berwick in 1357. (After that, English military efforts were concentrated against France, beginning the ‘Hundred Years War’).

Computer-generated maps reveal how Wallace outwitted the English army at Stirling Bridge and how Bruce achieved his incredible victory at Bannockburn. Peter Traquair’s text vividly describes this dramatic era of Anglo-Scottish conflict.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Collins; First edition edition (1 Jun 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0004720792
  • ISBN-13: 978-0004720791
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.5 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 83,791 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

‘For so long as a hundred of us remain alive, we will never in any way be bowed beneath the yoke of English domination; for it is not for glory, riches or honour that we fight, but for freedom alone, that which no man of worth yields up, save with his life’.
The Declaration of Arbroath, 1320

In 1997 Scotland voted to re-establish its parliament, a landmark decision that is likely to pave the way for an independent Scottish state. British political parties have wrapped themselves in tartan: John Major returned the Stone of Destiny; John Prescott retraced the steps if the English army defeated at the battle of Stirling Bridge and the Scottish National Party used the film 'Braveheart' to launch a recruitment drive, standing outside cinemas to hand out leaflets.

The film made William Wallace a household name, but it bore little relation to the historical truth. As 'Freedom’s Sword' reveals, this was quite unnecessary: there is more than enough drama in the real events of the Wars of Independence.

At a time when Scotland’s relationship with England is once again a major political issue, the past is being used to justify the present. 'Freedom’s Sword' is the first modern account of Scotland’s longest conflict with England, the series of wars that defined the border and poisoned Anglo-Scottish relations for 250 years.

About the Author

Peter Traquair is a young historian who brings the era to life for a modern audience.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an amazing read!! 29 Oct 2002
By Deborah MacGillivray HALL OF FAME VINE VOICE
Yes, it is pure history and a fresh look at it, but done with a readable craft that nearly makes you forget that. Traquair has a firm control of what he wants to impart.
Well researched, loaded with tons of interesting details, maps and pictures - (many colour plates) , I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to have a better understanding of the rise of Wallace and the Bruce and the conflict that caused England and Scotland to go to war.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Detailed, well-written account 26 Mar 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Bought this good used copy to get a background to the Scottish dimension to the beginning of the Hundred Years War and the development of the English army and it's tactics - but this led me into the history of Anglo-Scottish relations itself - explains so much about the subsequent history of the United Kingdom - including the current independence debate.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars historical masterpiece 15 Feb 2005
By William Winter - Published on Amazon.com
Traquair has taken an complex and emotive subject by the scruff of the neck and shaken it free of historical dogma. His grasp of the subject clearly shines through yet he avoids turgid academic language but writes with flare and pace which is so often missing from history texts. If you want an understanding of the Anglo-Scottish conflict that is based on strong research and that avoids the subjects myths and cliches, then read this book. Strongly recommended.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Debunks Scottish nationalist myths 15 Aug 2010
By Nedward - Published on Amazon.com
Do not be deterred by the romantic title to this book, which suggests it might be a nationalist tract. It is not. "Freedom's Sword" is in fact an excellent presentation of the events that historians have called the Scottish Wars of Independence, but were not seen in those terms by contemporaries. Scotland's failure to resolve its succession crisis in the late 13th and early 14th centuries had disastrous consequences, souring relations with its southern neighbor, ensuring that Scotland remained an impoverished and isolated country until the Act of Union, while many English and Scotsmen died in unnecessary wars. As Traquair demonstrates, this was far from being inevitable. The book is unfortunately let down by a large number of typographical errors, but otherwise an entertaining read and an excellent debunking of the grotesque distortions presented in popular histories, most notably the film "Braveheart".
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