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William Wallace: The King's Enemy

por D.J. Gray

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Sir William Wallace was one of the greatest heroes in Scotland's long struggle for independence from the English yoke. D.J. Gray probes the character and life of this resolute, and at times pitiless, warrior. Wallace raised a people's army to fight against the forces of Edward I, and his victory at the battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297 resulted in his elevation to the status of Guardian of Scotland. However, furious at the success of a man he regarded as a guerrilla, King Edward relentlessly pursued Wallace to his death. Remembered today as the architect of Scottish independence, Wallace's story gives a curious insight into the mind of the modern freedom fighter.… (mais)
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Dry reading unless you are particularly interested in William Wallace. I read it after seeing the movie "Braveheart." I wanted to know a truer version, if that's possible. ( )
  FoxTribeMama | Sep 24, 2016 |
This is in places an engaging read, as Gray's passion for his subject is evident everywhere. But what makes it engaging in some places makes it amateurish in others, because Gray's biases too often color his historical objectivity. He often openly ignores documented fact--or the lack thereof--in order to speculate on the emotions and thought processes not only of Wallace, but also of Robert the Bruce, Edward I, and many other figures key to the war for Scottish independence. He also relies heavily on folkloric sources like the Wallace-idolizing Harry the Blind, who Gray admits is biased but to whom Gray refers more than any other source. The book's organization leaves much to be desired, too; it reads more like a masters thesis than a carefully vetted work of professional scholarship. A good effort if Gray was indeed a grad student when he wrote this, but mostly, this book just makes me want to track down a more reliable source. Perhaps I made a mistake by reading this after Ronald McNair Scott's masterful treatment of Robert the Bruce. ( )
  Snoek-Brown | Feb 7, 2016 |
I keep hoping to find new information regarding the life the man who was "Braveheart," but I guess I have to be content with meager conjecture and spotty (at best) historical record. I guess the scarcity of facts on the life of Wallace himself leads to a natural broadening of the subject matter, giving way to the cause and early years of the Scottish War of Independence. There are much better books that focus on this subect matter, while giving no less attention to Wallace. Gray tries, but fails, to showcase Wallace, and in doing so, gives short shrift to other major events occurring at the time. Better books on the subject are Freedom's Sword by Peter Traquair and The Wars of the Bruces by Colm McNamee. The latter book in particular follows the fortunes of the prevailing "winner" of the war. ( )
  JeffV | Jul 8, 2009 |
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Sir William Wallace was one of the greatest heroes in Scotland's long struggle for independence from the English yoke. D.J. Gray probes the character and life of this resolute, and at times pitiless, warrior. Wallace raised a people's army to fight against the forces of Edward I, and his victory at the battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297 resulted in his elevation to the status of Guardian of Scotland. However, furious at the success of a man he regarded as a guerrilla, King Edward relentlessly pursued Wallace to his death. Remembered today as the architect of Scottish independence, Wallace's story gives a curious insight into the mind of the modern freedom fighter.

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