on 2 December 2012
The well written and picturesque novel of one of Scotland greatest kings with engaging intelligent dialogue and a good pace. Tranetr as usual demonstrates his love for the people, history and land of Scotland.
Like his namesake King David of Israel, David I of Scotland was a nation builder. David was the son of Malcolm III and Queen Margaret. After the deaths of his brothers, he gained the whole kingdom in 1124 and as an English baron he swore fealty to his niece the Empress Matilda, and supported her in the civil war against Stephen by invading England. The first two thirds of the novel covers the period before David's ascension to king of Scotland, and mainly covers his relations with his brothers when they were kings. Excellent focus on the English Civil War between Empress Matilda and King Stephen.
Defeated at the Battle of Standard in 1138, David returned to Scotland, and devoted himself to reforming the kingdom and introducing feudalism on Norman lines. He founded bishoprics and several monasteries, including Melrose Abbey and Holyrood.
David the Prince Nigel Tranter Hardcover Edition
The late and greatly missed Nigel Tranter (b.1909-d.2000) was not only one of Scotland's leading historians, but was also the premier writer of Scottish historical biographical fiction. If you were to organise his books chronologically they would form an almost complete biographic history of Scotland from the earliest times to the Highland Clearances. I started to collect his books as they were published in early 1970s and acquired each new title until the last, issued posthumously in 2007. I had not revisited this book for some time until just recently and I found it just as absorbing as the first time that I read it.
Once again Tranter brings to life a turbulent period of Scottish history. David was the son of Malcolm III and Queen Margaret and the third of their sons to come to the Scottish throne in 1124. David supported the cause of the Empress Matilda in the English civil war against Stephen by invading England. After the Battle of the Standard in 1138, David returned to Scotlandto become oone of the most stable and reforming of the medieval Scots kings.
As usual Mr.Tranter's prose paints a vivid picture of the people and their times and his meticulous research and breadth of knowledge brings to life the true story of a man who was certainly one of the pivotal charcters of the era. This is one of my favourite Tranter novels and one that I come back to and re-read regularly and always discover some small thing that appears fresh or new.
Thank you Mr.Tranter, for your contribution to literature, your prolific output which would keep any reader content for years, and your determination to bring readable Scottish history to the people.
You are sorely missed.
on 16 February 2011
Set during the reigns of William the Conqueror's sons Rufus and then Henry Ist,Nigel,in his own inimical style, tells how David became King of Scots and built the foundations so that Scotland would become a "modern" independent country.Wonderful read.Buy with confidence.
on 21 May 2014
After reading several Robert the Bruce books, I was left wanting to find out the history of Scotland before The Bruce. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It mapped out the old Scotland and where the borders were and the old names of the more well known places that appeared in The Bruce. It showed that England's wish to control Scotland didn't start and end with The Bruce, it began so much earlier It showed that the English King's wish to be Lord Paramount of Scotland didn't begin with Edward I. It has just given me the thirst to read more earlier history of Scotland. What would we do without Nigel Tranter's books.