As I mentioned in my post on Braveheart and Outlaw/King, the history of the Scots-English border region is the history of hillbillies. There is no Scots-English border region, and thus no distinctive culture for David Hackett Fischer to catalog, without a Scotland to provide one side of the border. And there is no Scotland without Robert the Bruce.
Braveheart features the Bruce in a bit role that is only a little bit historical. Outlaw/King is centered on the Bruce but, like most accounts, it only tells the tale of how he won the realm, not how he kept it. Penman’s account’s primary selling point is that he devotes as much attention to the Bruce’s post-Bannockburn career as to what happens before.
Sadly, Penman falls into the academic history trap of sucking all of the tremendous inherent drama out of his narrative.
Continue reading “Nonfiction: Robert the Bruce: King of the Scots by Michael Penman”