Hall, Stefan Thomas
Dr. Stefan Thomas Hall is Assistant Professor of Humanistic Studies and English at the University of Wisconsin.2006 0-7734-5650-3
This book examines medieval Scottish literature in light of theories on national identity, exploring how notions of ethnicity, language, class, kinship, history, folklore, and writing influence the ways Scots identify themselves. With chapters devoted to John Barbour’s Bruce
, Sir Richard Holland’s Buke of the Howlat
, and Blind Hary’s Wallace
, Scottish identity is seen as a textual construction, the product of medieval writers’ tales of Scottish heroes such as Bruce, Douglas and Wallace. Barbour’s historical romance portrays the struggle to establish Bruce as king of Scotland as a popular national struggle, while Holland’s allegorical beast fable suggests that there were competing identities (familial, baronial, royal) in Scotland. Blind Hary’s Wallace
, an anti-feudal outlaw tale which has become a national epic, redefines Scottishness in light of heroism and ethnicity. These three poems illustrate three different stages of the medieval development of Scottish national consciousness, a consciousness that broke away from the limited confines of feudal ideology and began to embrace a diversity of identities which existed in Scotland during the later Middle Ages.