Robert Bruce is renowned the world over as Scotland's hero king. But in Scotland itself, at least, William Wallace is accepted as an even greater hero, that turbulent land's most honoured son, the patriot pure and simple.
Bruce had a throne to win for himself, and hold; Wallace only the idea of a beloved land freed, with nothing sought or wanted for himself. As far as Scotland is concerned, William Wallace conceived the idea of patriotism.
Here is the epic story of a young man of lofty stature but no very lofty birth who, driven to desperation and tears by the savagery and indignities perpetrated upon his fellow countrymen and women, as policy of Edward Plantaget, Hammer of the Scots, took upon himself to challenge almost single-handed the might of the then greatest military machine in Christendom; and who, by indomitable courage, shrewd strategy, brilliant tactics, blind faith and a kind of holy impatience, raised a stricken and leaderless nation to self respect again and, in the absence of its king, became its acknowledged head as well as its saviour; and then was shamefully betrayed.
Scotland has seldom done things by halves, and has produced some of the blackest traitors as well as the resounding heroes. Never was treachery fouler than that which brought Wallace low, never an end more terrible than his. Yet gloom, sorrow, tragedy is not the aura Wallace has left behind, but joy, love, gallantry, high endeavour, youthful elan, and essential modesty. This is a story of what an ordinary man can achieve, touched by the finger of God.
The Wallace is the obvious and much called for successor to Nigel Tranter's highly successful trilogy on Robert the Bruce (" A notable achievement. It gives the impression of a work long matured and deeply felt. " - The Scotsman)