The Myth of William Wallace: A Study of the National Hero's Impact on Scottish History, Literature, and Modern Politics

Columbia University Press
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This book examines literary examples concerning William Wallace against the background of various historical sources and evaluates the construction, the changes, and the relevance of this Scottish national myth.For over 700 years, William Wallace has been fascinating people. What he achieved for his country is almost unbelievable. Already during his lifetime, Wallace's reputation must have been legendary. Over the centuries, a powerful myth has been created around his person, which was fostered by diverse writers, and even by Hollywood. There have been several periods throughout Scottish history when the interest in William Wallace intensified enormously, resulting in an increase of literary publications on the freedom fighter. These climaxes appeared whenever the Scots were dissatisfied with the English rule and brought the old animosity between England and Scotland to new life. These tensions caused many writers to revive memories of Wallace and his ideals by projecting the medieval story into their own time. Thus, more and more bits and pieces were added to the myth whose message seems to have had tremendous effects on the Scots. Wallace's unfulfilled quest of freeing Scotland even became an issue in several programs of political parties.With the release of the film "Braveheart" in the mid-1990s, the Wallace cult was reborn once more. Was it the prevailing political situation that stimulated such an overwhelming enthusiasm for William Wallace again? Did the Wallace myth influence the Devolution Movement? Is Wallace's spirit still alive today? Do the Scots still cherish what he fought for, and will they finally achieve his goal of a fully independent Scottish Nation? With regard to the current political situation, the author finds interesting answers to these questions and discusses the chances for a possible Scottish independence.
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About the author

Susanne Wallner teaches English and French. Her research focuses on Scotland and its culture.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Columbia University Press
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Published on
Jun 9, 2003
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Pages
120
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ISBN
9783838252698
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Europe / Great Britain / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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