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Cover painting detail. Robert Fleming Holdings Ltd. Photo. Bridgeman Art Library


Nigel Tranter Published by Hodder and Stoughton, 2000, ISBN 0 340 73925 8

The following details of the story are taken from the book jacket.

The story is set between C 1360 and C 1390.

Younger son of the ninth Earl of Dunbar and March, John Cospatrick expected to inherit neither the title nor estate. But when his mother, the formidable Black Agnes, bequeathed him the Earldom of Moray in the far north of Scotland, John was to find himself unexpectedly elevated to become the King's lieutenant and arbiter up in those unruly parts.

With the Highland clans forever feuding over land and privileges, King David hoped that the new earl, acting as his royal representative, would succeed in imposing some sort of order. At the age of twenty two, with no experience in such matters, John of Moray was to prove himself a skilled diplomat.

In due course King David was succeeded by John's father-in-law, Robert the second, and the House of Stewart began its tenure on the Scottish throne. John was to face his greatest test as an envoy and negotiator when the new King sent him to England in an attempt to win over John of Gaunt, and end years of damaging cross-border warfare by entering into a formal treaty of peace and accord with England and an alliance with France.

In this meticulously researched and absorbing novel, Nigel Tranter vividly recreates the life and dangerous times of John, Earl of Moray, a most able and worthy representative who greatly aided Scotland's cause.