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VERY POOR SCHOLARSHIP
on 30 May 2014
Why Armstrong would write a book about this without reading his own bibliography is a mystery. He learned nothing from 'Bannockburn Revealed' which is listed there.
The most important issuse are:
1. Where was the battle fought? He has no idea. His version is nonsense.
2. Where were the 4 bogs, the streams, the escarpments, ridges and depressions in the ground (Important and revealing here: one is 75ft, the other 54ft both on the Dryfield). He has the Pelstream drawn badly wrong: he has used Barrow's defective work. The strategy is impossible because of this mistake.
3. Where were the woods? He doesn't know much about this.
4. He has not the least idea about the road, the Ford and St Ninians. In 1314 there was only one road, it had to cross the burn at the Ford because there was no bridge till 1516, a mistake made by almost everyone else. This is explained in BR p359-370. The vital additional critical fact is that the Kirk was built in 1242 beside the road (which went along St Ninians Main Street). So that was the road in 1314. He ought to read this at last, 15 years later.
The list of primary sources is disastrous! There are only three! There should be at least ten. The most vital is Brut y Tywysogyon Peniarth MS20 version trans by Prof Thos Jones, published by Univ of Wales Press, 1952, page 123 there tells us that the battle was fought among the pools. Barbour tells us the English camped in the Carse because of the Pools. Bk12 p467 391-395. These quotes are essential! They define the battle site as the Carse.
I attended the book launch of this and knew immediately that this author's interest was only in Heraldry, the real difficulties of strategy, tactics, ground, personnel, training, were a closed world to him.
His best plan, even yet, is to go back and read the books that do solve the problems.
This book is not worth reading but it has some nice images of Heraldry. Osprey continually show a marked absence of intelligence in all that they publish.