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Jacket illustration by Val Biro


©Nigel Tranter
Published by Hodder and Stoughton, 1964,
The action of this book is set Circa 1488 to Circa 1513

The text of this synopsis is taken from the bookjacket.

If Mary Queen of Scots is the most romanticised monarch to have sat upon the throne of Scotland, her grandfather James IV was just as exciting and intriguing an individual and with a much more varied and complex character.

A strangely lovable man, headstrong but able, vigorous and affectionate, yet ridden with guilt and almost impossibly chivalrous in a harshly realistic age, he was undoubtably the finest and best-loved king Scotland ever had. Yet, almost deliberately, he led Scotland to the greatest disaster in her long history.

In this stirring and colourful novel, his most ambitious to date, Nigel Tranter follows the dramatic events in the life of the fourth James Stewart, from his murdered father's side, by way of plots, battles, Highland adventures and headlong love affairs, by laughter, tears, passion and haunting fear, to the fatal Field of Flodden where the whole flower of a nation laid down its life, unnecessarily, in blazing gallantly and for the love of one man.