The Wallace: Introduction


1 The date and place of his birth remain the subject of considerable debate. A recent biographer argues for 1272 or 1273 in Ellerslie, Ayrshire, although a number of traditions associate him with Elderslie, Renfrewshire. For a recent biography, see James Mackay, William Wallace: Brave Heart (Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1995).

2 See "Bannatyne Poems" in Ancient Scottish Poems, ed. Sir David Dalrymple, Lord Hailes (Edinburgh: A. Murray and J. Cochran, 1770), pp. 271-72.

3 Historia Majoris Britanniae, ed. Robert Freebairn (Edinburgh: R. Freebairn, 1740), 4.15.


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The Wallace: Introduction

by: Anne McKim (Editor)

One of the very first books printed in Scotland, The Wallace is a verse biography, composed c. 1471-79, of the celebrated Scottish national hero, William Wallace. Written more than a century and a half after his subject's death (1305),1 Hary's largely imaginative account of this real historical personage's role in the Scottish Wars of Independence has nevertheless exerted an enormous influence on representations of Wallace right down to the present day, including the hugely successful recent film Braveheart.

The Wallace story had become the stuff of legend long before Hary memorialized his hero. Although Hary claims as his authority an eye-witness account written in Latin by Wallace's chaplain and former schoolmate, John Blair (5.537-41; 12.1410-15), no such text survives nor is its existence attested by any other records. The earliest Scottish account of William Wallace is preserved in brief annals by John of Fordun (Gesta Annalia caps. 98-103), later included in his Chronica Gentis Scotorum (c. 1380), which was a primary source for the fifteenth-century chroniclers Andrew of Wyntoun (c. 1420) and Walter Bower (c. 1440), whose fuller accounts of Wallace, one written in the vernacular, the other in Latin, Hary almost certainly knew. Like his predecessors, Hary also drew on traditional tales of Wallace's exploits, including perhaps some of the "gret gestis" Wyntoun mentions as circulating in the early fifteenth century (Orygynale Cronykil of Scotland 8.2300).

The single most important model and, ironically, the "source" for Hary's composition is a fourteenth-century vernacular verse biography of the other most renowned Scottish national hero, Robert the Bruce. Hary refers to The Bruce (1375) and its author, John Barbour, a long-serving archdeacon of Aberdeen, a number of times in The Wallace and in such a way as to convey his respect for Barbour's biography of the king. If imitation is indeed the sincerest form of flattery, Hary pays Barbour a considerable compliment by going so far as to "borrow" several episodes from the archdeacon's account of Bruce's military career - in which Wallace is not once mentioned - and assigning them to Wallace! As Lord Hailes so memorably put it, Hary "celebrated the actions which Wallace did not perform, as well as those which he did."2 Early in his poem, Hary reveals his belief that Wallace merits comparison with Bruce, and, while he qualifies this with the acknowledgment that Bruce was the legitimate "heir" of the kingdom, his preference for Wallace is evident in his claim that the latter was the greater hero because he was braver and more patriotic, as witnessed by the number of times he rescued Scotland from the English and even challenged the enemy on their own ground:
     All worthi men that has gud witt to waille,
     Bewar that yhe with mys deyme nocht my taille.     
Perchance yhe say that Bruce he was none sik.
He was als gud quhat deid was to assaill
As of his handis and bauldar in battaill,
Bot Bruce was knawin weyll ayr of this kynrik;
For he had rycht we call no man him lik.
Bot Wallace thris this kynrik conquest haile,
In Ingland fer socht battaill on that rik.
at command
you do not find fault

as; action; attempt
heir; kingdom

far; realm
Appropriately enough, the only surviving manuscript of The Wallace, copied in 1488, is preserved and bound along with one of only two extant manuscripts of The Bruce, copied in 1489 (National Library of Scotland MS Advocates 19.2.2). The handwriting and separate colophons at the end of each poem proclaim them to be the work of the same scribe, John Ramsay, whom Neilson identifies as a cleric and notary of St. Andrews' diocese (p. 86). Whether they were commissioned by the same patron, which might suggest early recognition of the affinity between the two works, cannot be established. We do know from one of the colophons that the copy of The Bruce was made at the request of Sir Symon Lochmalony, vicar of Auchtermoonzie in Fife.

Like Barbour, Hary's purpose was commemorative and eulogistic. As well as encouraging his readers to honor worthy ancestors, he begins his account of the already renowned Wallace (1.17) with a brief genealogical sketch (1.21-38) in which Wallace's ancestry is traced back through the Crawford line on his mother's side, and on his father's side to the first "gud Wallace" (1.30), whom Hary, following Barbour's lost Genealogy of the Royal House of Stewart (referred to as "The Stewartis Originall" by Wyntoun), identifies as the companion of Walter, the first Scottish Stewart. Introducing his hero in this way is entirely conventional, but Hary also aims to establish beyond doubt Wallace's noble Scottish lineage. In doing so he repudiated received depictions of Wallace as a common thief, rebel, and traitor found in the English records and, at the same time, challenged any lingering perception in Scotland that, because of his inferior rank, Wallace had never commanded the full support of the Scottish nobles.

It is above all for his "nobille worthi deid" (1.2) in defense of his country that Hary celebrates Wallace. He portrays him as a great national liberator, "the reskew of Scotland" (1.38), a hero on a mission that is divinely sanctioned - "he fred it weyle throu grace" (1.40). Early in the narrative the famous seer Thomas the Rhymer prophesies that Wallace will liberate Scotland from English domination and restore peace three times (2.346-50). Later Wallace himself is granted a vision in which St. Andrew, Scotland's patron saint, and the Virgin Mary present him with an avenging sword, a parti-coloured wand, and a precious book, interpreted by his chaplain John Blair as confirmation of his divinely ordained mission (7.65-152). As Brown and McDiarmid have noted, while the suggestion for the prophetic dream probably came from The Alliterative Morte Arthure in which King Arthur is visited by Lady Fortune in a dream, the religious interpretation does not (Brown, p. 38; McDiarmid 2.200). Indeed there are a number of explicit allusions to Arthur in Hary's poem, including the claim that "Wallace of hand sen Arthour had na mak" (8.845) which, along with allusions to Hector, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Roland, and Godfrey of Boulogne, strongly suggest that Hary wished Wallace to be added as a kind of tenth "noble" or "worthy" to the illustrious "Nine Worthies" celebrated in literature, art, and architecture in the Middle Ages.

As well as ensuring Wallace's place in the house of fame, Hary both rallies and rebukes his contemporaries in a way that has convinced a number of critics of his propagandist purposes. From the beginning of the poem, there is no mistaking his anti-English feeling for "Our ald ennemys cummyn of Saxonys blud, / That nevyr yeit to Scotland wald do gud" (1.7-8). Blaming "sleuthfulnes" (1.3) for the all too prevalent tendency to forget the debt and respect due to ancestors may be a standard topos in medieval historiography, but Hary's criticism of those who perversely "honour ennymyis" (1.5) and proffer them "gret kyndnes" (1.10) has been interpreted as referring specifically to contemporary politics of the 1480s (Neilson, pp. 109-10) or the 1470s (McDiarmid, pp. xiv-xxvi). Certainly internal evidence supports McDiarmid's belief that the poem was written sometime in the 1470s, that is, between 1471 - when the two contemporaries, Sir William Wallace of Craigie and Sir James Liddale of Halkerston, to whom Hary refers at the end of his work as persuading him to deviate a little from Blair's account, were knighted - and 1479, when Sir William is known to have died. These were also years in which James III's policy of matrimonial alliances with England may explain Hary's criticism of the misguided friendliness shown to England expressed in the poem's opening lines (lines 5-10). McDiarmid speculates that Hary's patrons were probably those southern magnates most opposed to James' pro-English foreign policy, including the king's brother Alexander, duke of Albany, to whom Sir James Liddale was steward.

Nevertheless, Hary presents himself as a disinterested as well as a patriotic writer. Although he appeals to fellow patriots - at one point calling on "Yhe nobill men that ar of Scottis kind" (7.235) to avenge atrocities that he alleges the English have committed - he claims that he was not commissioned by "king nor othir lord" (12.1435) to write the book, and that he was not prompted by the prospect of any reward (12.1434). The historian John Major writing in the early sixteenth century informs us that Hary recited his poem in the presence of princes.3 Whether he ever entertained the king in this way we do not now know, although the royal treasury records reveal that he received gifts of money from James IV on five separate occasions at Linlithgow Palace between 1490 and 1492, indicating that he had connections with the royal court, though in what capacity is not specified.

Indeed, we know very little about the author of The Wallace: his name as well as his identity remains something of a mystery. On the authority of John Major (1518) he is said to have been called Henry or Hary, though whether this was his first or last name is not clear. McDiarmid notes that the surname Hare or Henry (with variants such as Henrison) was quite common in the Linlithgow area in the second half of the fifteenth century and ventures the opinion that the writer was born there or thereabouts around 1440, citing in support what he considers to be evidence in The Wallace of the author's detailed regional knowledge of Stirlingshire and Perthshire (pp. xxvii-xxviii). Others believe that the name Hary, or Blind Harry as he is often called, was an alias or nickname (Schofield, p.12; Balaban, p. 247). The poet William Dunbar simultaneously attested and perpetuated the currency of the name "blind Hary" when he registered his recent death in the poem best known as "The Lament for the Makars" (c. 1505).

Hary's blindness is confirmed both by the royal records and by John Major, although the latter's claim that the poet was blind from birth has more recently been challenged, particularly by readers who are convinced that only a sighted person could have written the graphic descriptions and detailed topographical accounts which distinguish The Wallace (Neilson, p. 85; McDiarmid, pp. xxxiv-xxxvii). The richly allusive and highly literary quality of Hary's writing indicates a widely read man, while a strong respect for reading is also conveyed right from the start of the poem in his references to what readers can learn from books and in his injunctions to his readers to go and read certain books (1.1, 17, 34, 37; see also 7.613, 1293).

Like many other medieval poets, Hary expresses feigned anxiety about the reception of his "nobill buk" (12.1451) which some may dismiss as the "rurall dyt" (12.1431) of a self-confessed rustic or "burel man" (12.1461). In the event, The Wallace was an immediate and lasting success. By 1488 it had been copied by John Ramsay, probably as a commission, and - after the first Scottish printing press was set up in Edinburgh in 1507-08 - it was one of the first books printed, almost certainly by Chepman and Myllar. The bibliographer John Miller notes that at least twenty-two other editions were printed before 1707. Adaptations of Hary's work, from the selective revisions of the Protestant printer Lekpreuik (1570) catering to the tastes of a post-Reformation readership to the complete "modernisation" of William Hamilton of Gilbertfield (1722), ensured that The Wallace always found an audience. Some readers were more critical than others. Early sixteenth-century Scottish historians tended to be skeptical about Hary's reliability even as they drew heavily on his account as a source for Wallace's career. Major was particularly influential in developing the tradition of the blind minstrel dependent for his livelihood on pleasing wealthy patrons by regaling them with stories drawn from popular sources.

Hary himself locates his work within a learned literary tradition when he purports to translate from a Latin life of Wallace; when he cites and recommends particular books to his readers; and again when he alludes to chronicle sources. His primary model as we have seen is Barbour's Bruce, which was evidently respected by fifteenth-century chroniclers, and which provided Hary with a suitable structure to emulate - a sequence of linked episodes describing the heroic actions and incidents in the life of a national hero. While the formal ordering of the narrative into twelve books can be clearly detected from Ramsay's transcription (even though he overlooked the start and end of Book 9 with the result that his manuscript has only eleven books), The Wallace is essentially structured according to the protagonist's threefold "rescues" of Scotland from English domination, a narrative strategy complemented by a range of rhetorical strategies, including repetition with variation of motifs, many of them also deployed by Barbour. Recent scholarship has highlighted the use of traditional material, including folklore, by even respectable medieval historians like Andrew Wyntoun and Walter Bower, so it is not at all surprising to find that Hary too drew on folklore, most strikingly in the Fawdoun episode in which Wallace encounters the ghost of a man he has beheaded. It is the "conscious blending of folk-myth and Chaucerian literary conventions" that perhaps makes The Wallace such an interesting work (Balaban, p. 250). Although Hary's knowledge of Chaucer's poetry - which was quite widely available in fifteenth-century Scotland - has long been noted (Skeat, Neilson, Scheps [1970], Harward) with specific echoes of The General Prologue to The Canterbury Tales, The Knight's Tale, The Franklin's Tale, Troilus and Criseyde, and The Legend of Good Women (all noticed in the explanatory notes section of this edition), critical appreciation of the literary merits of The Wallace has come only quite recently.

Familiarity with the great medieval romance cycles of Arthur and Alexander, Scottish translations and derivatives of which were composed and circulated in the fifteenth century, is evident in Hary's poem, particularly in his depiction of Wallace as an exemplary warrior and "chyftayne in wer" (5.842). As well as being handsome, strong, brave, and wise (1.184), as a military leader he inspires loyalty and admiration by his personal prowess, his prudence (e.g., in avoiding open battle when seriously outnumbered), his sound military strategy and tactics, and his generosity to his followers (6.784-86). Wallace, "the flour of armys" (6.56), is almost invariably chivalrous in his treatment of noncombatants, and we are repeatedly told that he refused to harm women, children, and priests. Off the battlefield, he is "curtas, and benyng" (1.202), but because The Wallace is so centrally concerned with war, these particular attributes are more stated than demonstrated. Nevertheless, Hary conveys his appreciation of the value that attaches to courtoisie when he takes the trouble to praise the son of John Ramsay, one of Wallace's allies, as the "flour of courtlyness" (7.900) and when he stages a completely unhistorical meeting and conversation between the English queen and his hero in which courtly decorum is displayed (8.1215-1466).

The conflicting claims of war and love exercise the young Wallace (5.611-48) when he is smitten by a young woman in Lanark. Apparently aware of the philosophy that love can spur a warrior on to great feats of prowess, Wallace declares to his friend Kerle that the case is rather different when the liberation of his country is at stake. As a champion of such a cause, he believes love will only distract him from his mission:
   . . . he that thinkis on his luff to speid,
He may do weill, haiff he fortoun and grace.  
Bot this standis all in ane othir cas:
A gret kynryk with feill fayis ourset.
Rycht hard it is amendis for to get
At anys of thaim and wyrk the observance
Quhilk langis luff and all his frevill chance.
if he has
things stand differently in this case
kingdom [is] with many enemies overrun
to obtain amends [from them]
And at the same time perform the duties
belong [to]; fickle fortune
He also knows from experience how dangerous a distraction love can be, since an earlier liaison with a paramour in Perth had very nearly cost him his life and endangered his men. But despite his asseveration that love is "[n]othing bot folychnes" (5.631), like Troilus, he finds the power of love irresistible once it has made its "prent" (5.606) on his heart. Unlike Troilus, he marries his beloved and comes to regret this only because it costs her her life.

Wallace's personal bereavement serves to deepen his resolve against his enemies, as righteous anger and desire for vengeance unite his personal and political motives:
The saklace slauchtir of hir blith and brycht,  
That I avow to the Makar of mycht,
That of that nacioune I sall nevir forber
Yhong nor ald that abill is to wer.

old; is fit to fight
He proceeds to kill the sheriff and English inhabitants of Lanark, and his personally motivated reprisal marks the beginning of Scotland's recovery, as Scots who flock to his lead recognize:
Quhen Scottis hard thir fyne tithingis of new
Out of all part to Wallace fast thai drew,
Plenyst the toun quhilk was thar heretage.
Thus Wallace straiff agayne that gret barnage.
Sa he begane with strenth and stalwart hand
To chewys agayne sum rowmys of Scotland.
The worthi Scottis that semblit till him thar
Chesit him for cheyff, thar chyftayne and ledar.  
heard this excellent news
From all over
strove against; barons
recover; parts
flocked to
Hary never lets his readers forget that his hero is a man moved by "pitté" (1.182) for his country and "ire of wrang" (6.224) or the righteous anger caused by wrongs that must be redressed. Provocation ranges from the scorn and insults the young Wallace regularly encounters as he attempts to go about his everyday business in occupied Scotland, to the killing of his kin, which in the course of the narrative includes his father, elder brother, and uncle, as well as his wife. Wallace reacts to these provocations by cutting throats, dashing out brains, shattering bones, striking out eyes and tongues, and beheading others in an orgy of violence described with a relish some readers have found distasteful. Hary's frequently emotive language seems designed not only to express Wallace's rage and Hary's antipathy but also to incite hatred of the English in his readers.

The Wallace catalogues the sheer brutality of war. We are regaled with such detailed accounts of the sacking of towns and the burning down of buildings full of screaming inhabitants that the smells and sounds, as well as the terrible sights of war, are graphically conveyed. The hero may spare women but he gives the severed head of Fitzhugh, Edward I's nephew, to his wife and sends her with it to the English king.

If Hary dwells on the bloodshed in a way that leaves him open to the charge of glorifying slaughter, there is nevertheless a surprising amount of humor in the poem. Much of it, of course, is at the expense of the English. For example, when Edward's drunk and insensible soldiers are burned to death as they sleep in barns outside Ayr, Hary offers an early example of typically Scottish understatement: "Till slepand men that walkand [waking] was nocht soft" (7.440). On other occasions the humor derives from the improbability of the hero successfully passing himself off as a woman to elude capture. Pursued after he kills the constable of Dundee early in his career, Wallace quickly dons a woman's gown, headscarf, and hat, and swaps his bloody knife for a spinning "rok" (1.244), prompting the poet to comment:
      . . . thai socht him beselye
Bot he sat still and span full conandly,
As of his tym, for he nocht leryt lang.

  Considering his [short learning] time; learned
Hary also gives Wallace a sense of humor as well as a keen sense of injustice. When the captain of Lochmabon scornfully has the tails of Scottish horses docked, Wallace proffers a "[r]eward" (5.756) introducing himself as "a barbour of the best" who has come from the west "[t]o cutt and schaiff" and "lat blud" (5.758-60), before he dispatches the captain and a companion with his sword. Indeed much of the humor of The Wallace is found in the many verbal exchanges that frequently precede physical encounters between the hero and his English enemies, where the jokes are shared with the reader, as when, for example, challenged by the gatekeeper at Perth, Wallace gives his name as "Will Malcomsone" (4.368), which of course he is (Will, son of Malcolm). On another occasion, irreverent humor and witty wordplay are enjoyed by Wallace and his uncle Auchinleck as they prepare to mount a front- and rearguard attack on an army led by Bishop Bek near Glasgow:
"Uncle," he said, "be besy into wer.
Quhethir will yhe the byschoppys taill upber,
Or pas befor and tak his benysone?"
He ansuerd hym with rycht schort provision,
"Unbyschoppyt yeit forsuth I trow ye be.
Yourselff sall fyrst his blyssyng tak for me,
For sekyrly ye servit it best the nycht.
To ber his taill we sall in all our mycht."
prepare for battle
Whether; carry
in front; blessing
little hesitation
  Not yet blessed by a bishop; believe

surely; deserved; tonight
carry; with all our might
Wallace may show little respect for an English bishop, but his devoutness is nevertheless illustrated a number of times in the poem when he attends mass, offers up prayers, and finally endures torture by steadfastly reading the psalter he has, we are told, kept on his person since childhood. (Hary adds an ironic touch when he makes the bishop of Canterbury defy Edward I by hearing the last confession of this "rebell.") His execution, following betrayal by a trusted associate and the father of his godchildren, is presented as a martyrdom (12.1305-08) - as it was by Andrew Wyntoun - and divine approbation is conferred through the spirit of an elderly monk who appears in a vision to confirm that Wallace, "a gret slaar of men" and "defendour of Scotland" (12.1278, 1285), will be honored in heaven.

The Wallace has the distinction of being the first extant Middle Scots poem to use the decasyllabic couplet (Scheps, Studies in Scottish Literature, 1969). Hary also employs a nine-line decasyllabic stanza rhyming aabaabbab (2.171-359), first used by Chaucer in Anelida and Arcite and later by all the major Middle Scots poets, Robert Henryson (The Testament of Cresseid, lines 407-69), William Dunbar (The Goldyn Targe), and Gavin Douglas (Palise of Honour, Prologue and Parts 1 and 2); and a decasyllabic eight-line stanza rhyming ababbcbc (6.1-104), employed by Chaucer in The Monk's Tale and by Dunbar in a number of poems.

This edition of The Wallace provides substantial selections from Hary's narrative, which runs to over 11,000 lines. The key episodes are presented and their place in the unfolding account of Wallace's career until his death is preserved by the inclusion of prose summaries of omitted sections. The division into twelve books, found in Lekpreuik's 1570 edition, is adopted here, and only one book (9), which deals with Wallace's first visit to France, is left out, while several books (1, 2, 7, and 8) are presented in their entirety. Like Matthew P. McDiarmid's complete edition for the Scottish Text Society (1968-69), this edition of selections is based on the sole surviving manuscript, Advocates 19.2.2. Occasionally missing lines and improved readings are supplied from the remaining fragments of the first printed edition (1507-08), preserved in the National Library of Scotland, and its derivative printed by Lekpreuik in 1570. Emendations are recorded in the textual notes, as are different readings from McDiarmid. Spellings have been normalized in accordance with the conventions of the Middle English Texts Series, as stated in the front of each volume: e.g., scribal yogh is transcribed as y or g; u/v and i/j have been normalized; final -e, if a long vowel with full syllable value, is marked with an accent (e.g., charité). Occasionally, the scribe uses ff where we would use f; if the ff indicates a capital, I have rendered it F; I have also changed ff to f in cases where of would be confused with off, since the pronunciation of the passage remains unchanged. The scribe regularly uses w where we would use w, v, or u. I have followed the practice of modern editors and transcribed such words with the modern vowel. Thus ws becomes us; trawaill becomes travaill; and waill when it means "weal" or "the good" remains waill, while waill in the sense of "avail" or "help" becomes vaill. Occasionally final -r and -s have a curl, which I have treated as a mere flourish. Contractions in the manuscript have been silently expanded, and capitalization, word formation, and punctuation follow modern practice.

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Select Bibliography


National Library of Scotland MS Advocates 19.2.2, fols. 79r-194r. [Bound along with The Bruce, the two parts have been transposed in the binding, so that The Wallace, copied in 1488, forms the second part and The Bruce, copied in 1489, forms the first. The Wallace is written on 124 vellum leaves, in single columns, distributed into 6 quires.]

Early Printed Editions

The Actis and Deidis of the Illuster and Vail3eand Campioun, Schir William Wallace, Knicht of Ellerslie. Edinburgh: Robert Lekpreuik, 1570. British Museum.

The Actis and Deidis of Schir William Wallace. Ed. William Craigie. Scottish Text Society third ser. 12. New York: Scholars' Facsimiles and Reprints, 1940 (for 1938). [Facsimile of Robert Lekpreuik's 1570 edition, above.]

Fragments of an edition in the type of Chepman and Myllar (Edinburgh, 1507/8). National Library of Scotland. [Printed in an appendix to Craigie's facsimile edition of Lekpreuik above.]

The Lyfe and Actis of the Maist Illvster and Vailzeand Campiovn William Wallace, Knicht of Ellerslie, Mainteiner and defender of the libertie of Scotland. Edinburgh: Henry Charteris, 1594. [Title page, preface, and table of contents printed as an appendix to Craigie's facsimile edition.]

Modern Editions

Jamieson, John, ed. Wallace, or, The Life and Acts of Sir William Wallace of Ellerslie. By Henry the Minstrel. Glasgow: Maurice Ogle & Co., 1869.

McDiarmid, Matthew P., ed. Hary's Wallace. 2 vols. Scottish Text Society fourth ser. 4-5. Edinburgh: William Blackwood and Sons, 1968-69.

Moir, James, ed. The Actis and Deidis of the Illustere and Vail3eand Campioun Schir William Wallace Knicht of Ellerslie by Henry the Minstrel Commonly Known as Blind Harry. Scottish Text Society 6, 7, 17. Edinburgh: William Blackwood and Sons, 1889 (for 1884-89).

Bibliographical Sources

Aldis, Harry Gidney. A List of Books Printed in Scotland before 1700, Including Those Printed furth of the Realm for Scottish Booksellers, with Brief Notes on the Printers and Stationers. New York: B. Franklin, [1970].

Geddie, William. A Bibliography of Middle Scots Poets. Scottish Text Society 61. Edinburgh: William Blackwood and Sons, 1912.

Miller, John F. Records of the Glasgow Bibliographical Society. Glasgow: Glasgow Bib-liographical Society, 1913-. [See vol. 3, Part I (1915) , pp. 1-25, for an account of the MS and text; see vol. 6 (1918), pp. 20-38, for the editions.]

Sources and Analogues

Andrew of Wyntoun. The Orygynale Cronykil of Scotland. See entry for Laing, below.

Barbour, John. Barbour's Bruce. See entry for McDiarmid and Stevenson, below.

Bower, Walter. Scotichronicon. Ed. D. E. R. Watt et al. 9 vols. Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press, 1987-98.

Selected Criticism

Balaban, John. "Blind Harry and The Wallace." The Chaucer Review 8 (1974), 241-51.

Barrow, G. W. S. The Kingdom of the Scots. London: Edward Arnold, 1973.

---. Robert Bruce and the Community of the Realm of Scotland. Third ed. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1988.

Brown, J. T. T. The Wallace and The Bruce Restudied. Bonner Beiträge zur Anglistik 6. Bonn: P. Hanstein, 1900.

Goldstein, R. James. "Blind Hary's Myth of Blood: The Ideological Closure of The Wallace." Studies in Scottish Literature 25 (1990), 70-82.

---. The Matter of Scotland: Historical Narrative in Medieval Scotland. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1993.

Harward, Vernon. "Hary's Wallace and Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde." Studies in Scottish Literature 10 (1972), 48-50.

Laing, David, ed. The Orygynale Cronykil of Scotland by Androw of Wyntoun. 3 vols. The Historians of Scotland 2, 3, 9. Edinburgh: Edmonston and Douglas, 1872-79.

McDiarmid, Matthew P., and James A. C. Stevenson, eds. Barbour's Bruce: A Fredome is a Noble Thing! 3 vols. Scottish Text Society fourth ser. 12-13, 15. Edinburgh: Scottish Text Society, 1980-85.

McKim, Anne. "Scottish National Heroes and the Limits of Violence." A Great Effusion of Blood? Interpreting Medieval Violence. Ed. Mark Meyers and Daniel Thiery. Toronto: Uni-versity of Toronto Press, forthcoming.

Neilson, George. "On Blind Harry's Wallace." Essays & Studies 1 (1910), 85-112.

Roberts, John. Lost Kingdoms: Celtic Scotland and the Middle Ages. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1997.

Scheps, Walter. "Possible Sources for Two Instances of Historical Inaccuracy in Blind Harry's Wallace." Notes & Queries 16 (1969), 125-26.

---. "William Wallace and His 'Buke': Some Instances of Their Influence on Subsequent Literature." Studies in Scottish Literature 6 (1969), 220-37.

---. "Middle English Poetic Usage and Blind Harry's Wallace." The Chaucer Review 4 (1970), 291-302.

---. "Barbour's Bruce and Harry's Wallace: The Question of Influence." Tennesee Studies in Literature 17 (1972), 19-24.

Schofield, William Henry. Mythical Bards and the Life of William Wallace. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1920.

Skeat, W. W. "Blind Harry and Chaucer." Modern Language Quarterly 1 (November 1897), 49-50.

Walker, Ian. "Barbour, Blind Harry, and Sir William Craigie." Studies in Scottish Literature 1 (1964), 202-06.

Walsh, Elizabeth. "Hary's Wallace: The Evolution of a Hero." Scottish Literary Journal 11.1 (May 1984), 5-19.

Watson, Fiona. Under the Hammer: Edward I and Scotland, 1286-1306. East Linton: Tuckwell Press, 1998.

Wilson, Grace. "Barbour's Bruce and Hary's Wallace: Complements, Compensations and Conventions." Studies in Scottish Literature 25 (1990), 189-201.