Called "some of the most famous lines in Scottish Literature", they were written in 1386 by John Barbour, Archdeacon of Aberdeen. This was the Age of Chivalry - a time of knights and ladies, where bravery, valour and larger-than-life heroes came into flower. Above all, Loyalty was treasured, and none rivals the tale of loyalty between two men, who faced some of the hardest times in Scottish History and paid the price: Robert the Bruce, Earl of Carrick, and James Douglas. Even today James "Black" Douglas still thrills the imagination and heart of ladies fair!
Their tales is epic, and frankly, would make a better movie than Braveheart. I love Wallace, and never would discount his part in Scotland's history and struggle to remain a country separate from England. However, he was a shooting star that lit the fires of rebellion; the hard role of forging Wallace's dream into a reality fell upon the shoulders of twenty-something Bruce and his right hand Jamie Douglas. Their struggle was longer and harder, for not only did Bruce have to fight Longshanks - and later his son Edward II, to see Scotland free - he had to fight the mighty clan Comyn who control nearly 2/3s of Scotland.
The language of Barbour's epic, translations edited by A.A.M. Duncan, is easy to read, and lends such wealth into seeing Robert the Bruce and James Douglas as men, not just heroes. It gives such strong imagery and insight into the medieval period of Scotland. This first accessible modern edition of Barbour's work and must for any lover of Scottish History's bookshelf.