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A Story of Wallace and Bruce

Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them. William Wallace and Robert Bruce belong to the ‘achieve greatness’ category. When one is Prime Minister of a country, Commander of an Army and holds such important position, one automatically becomes great and finds the place in history. Our present heroes did not have such opportunities. They achieved fame in the College of self-education, where their mind was their Principal; their initiative their Professors; their hard work their Tutors.

They were the men who would decide, act, start and finish. They are brave souls whom God deputes on Planet Earth, to transform a weak complacent society, into a powerful body of responsible citizens. William Wallace and Robert Bruce were the legend of their lifetimes, who believed and functioned that ‘it is better to deserve without receiving, than to receive without deserving. ’ This is the saga of the end of the 13th century. The oppressed Scots faced the mighty Empire of England.

It was an uneven combat between the two forces. England’s military might was superior on all counts. But Wallace and Bruce took it as the right opportunity to exhibit their extraordinary courage, ingenuity and loyalty that set the example for the Scots. Added to the story is the fictional protagonist, Archie Forbes, who fights in support of the legendary heroes. The plot of the story is gripping and it is full of positive traits that mold a true soldier– honor, heroics, friendship and adventure.

It is an inspiring story and envy of a soldier. The book serves the dual purpose- the cursory glance of the Scottish history and a great asset of fiction. Nevertheless, the fictional part is engulfed in factual incidents. The geography discussed is real; the persons discussed are authentic and an accurate timeline is presented. Research in every area is painstaking and truthful. The action described and historical facts tendered demand reader’s attention.

The approach is juvenile but there is nothing wrong about it as the book is meant for the young audience to kindle their curiosity and make them aware of the Scottish History. It is a fun book interwoven with stern incidents. The struggle of the Scots was unique and it had some difficult aspects. It was the people’s rebellion against the English ruler. Many of the Scottish nobles were the supporters of the ruler. The English army was numerically superior, and the Nobles did not wish to self-inflict damage to their wealthy positions and other assets.

This situation in Scotland as for the vested interests of the Nobility and the aspirations of the common man have been poignantly described in the following conversation between Archie and his mother. “That evening Archie said to his mother, “How is it, mother, that the English knight whom I today saw ride past with the Kerr is governor of our Scottish town of Lanark? ” “You may well wonder, Archie, for there are many in Scotland of older years than you who marvel that Scotsmen, who have always been free, should tolerate so strange a thing.

It is a long story, and a tangled one; but tomorrow morning I will draw out for you a genealogy of the various claimants to the Scottish throne, and you will see how the thing has come about, and under what pretence. Edward of England has planted his garrisons in this free Scotland of ours. “(Chapter, 1) Knowing fully well that it is the fight of the ordinary people, Wallace and Bruce led them by personal example with extraordinary courage. Conclusion: A good map England and Scotland are handy as you turn the pages of the book. The author is candid about what he has achieved through the book.

He says, “Throughout the story, therefore, wherein it at all relates to Wallace, Bruce, and the other historical characters, the circumstances and events can be relied upon as strictly accurate, save only in the earlier events of the career of Wallace, of which the details that have come down to us are somewhat conflicting, although the main features are now settled past question. (Preface…. )

References:

Henty, G. A. Book: In Freedom’s Cause: A Story of Wallace and Bruce (Adventure) Paperback: 320 pages Publisher: Dover Publications (October 22, 2002) Language: English ISBN-10: 048642362X ISBN-13: 978-0486423623

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