Barbour's Bruce and its Cultural Contexts

Barbour's Bruce and its Cultural Contexts

Politics, Chivalry and Literature in Late Medieval Scotland

Edited by Steve Boardman, Susan Foran





Fresh approaches to one of the most important poems from medieval Scotland.
John Barbour's Bruce, an account of the deeds of Robert I of Scotland (1306-29) and his companions during the so-called wars of independence between England and Scotland, is an important and complicated text. Composed c.1375 during the reign of Robert's grandson, Robert II, the first Stewart king of Scotland (1371-90), the poem represents the earliest surviving complete literary work of any length produced in "Inglis" in late medieval Scotland, and is usually regarded as the starting point for any worthwhile discussion of the language and literature of Early Scots. It has also been used as an essential "historical" source for the career and character of that iconic monarch Robert I. But its narrative defies easy categorisation, and has been variously interpreted as a romance, a verse history, an epic or a chivalric biography.
This collection re-assesses the form and purpose of Barbour's great poem. It considers the poem from a variety of perspectives, re-examining the literary, historical, cultural and intellectual contexts in which it was produced, and offering important new insights.

Steve Boardman is a Reader in History at the University of Edinburgh. Susan Foran, currently an independent scholar, researches chivalry, war and the idea of nation in late medieval historical writing.

Contributors: Steve Boardman, Dauvit Broun, Michael Brown, Susan Foran, Chris Given-Wilson, Theo van Heijnsbergen, Rhiannon Purdie, Biörn Tjällén, Diana B. Tyson, Emily Wingfield.


September 2015
256 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9781843843573
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
BISAC LIT011000, HIS037010
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Table of Contents

Introduction: King Robert the Bruce's Book - Steven Boardman and Susan Foran
The Manuscript and Print Contexts of Barbour's Bruce - Emily Wingfield
Medieval Romance and the Generic Frictions of Barbour's Bruce - Rhiannon Purdie
Scripting the National Past: A Textual Community of the Realm - Theo van Heijnsbergen
Chivalric Biography and Medieval Life-Writing - Christopher Given-Wilson
The Vocabulary of Chivalric Description in Late Fourteenth-Century Biography - Diana Tyson
A Nation of Knights? Chivalry and the Community of the Realm in Barbour's Bruce - Susan Foran
John Barbour's Scholastic Discourse on Thraldom - Biörn Tjällén
Rethinking Scottish Origins - Dauvit Broun
'Thar nobill eldrys gret bounte': The Bruce and early Stewart Scotland - Steven Boardman
Barbour's Bruce in the 1480s: Literature and Locality - Michael H Brown

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