Edinburgh Research Explorer

Barbour's Bruce and its Cultural Contexts: Politics, Chivalry and Literature in Late Medieval Scotland

Research output: Book/ReportAnthology

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationSuffolk
PublisherBoydell and Brewer
Number of pages256
ISBN (Electronic)9781782045328
ISBN (Print)9781843843573
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sep 2015


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.

ID: 21562345