Recommend to your Librarian

William Wallace

A National Tale

Graeme Morton

Edition: 2

eBook (ePub) i
eBook (PDF) i

A deconstruction of the national biography and mythology of William Wallace

Freed from the historian’s bedrock of empiricism by a lack of corroborative sources, the biography of this short-lived late-medieval patriot has long been incorporated into the ideology of nationalism. It is to explain this assimilation, and to deconstruct the myriad ways that Wallace’s biography has been endlessly refreshed as a national narrative, over many generations, that forms this investigation.

Show more


List of Figures
1. Episodic Nationalism
2. National Tale
3. Chronicles
4. Hary’s Tale
5. Fixing the Type
6. The Scottish Chiefs
7. A Distant Tale
8. The Feminized Nation
9. Tall Stories
10. The People’s Tale
11. A Nationalist Tale
12. Moving Image

About the Author

Graeme Morton is Professor of Modern History at the University of Dundee having previous held the inaugural Scottish Studies Foundation Chair at the University of Guelph. His research focus falls on national identity, associational culture and diaspora studies. Recent publications include Ourselves and Others: Scotland, 1832–1914 (Edinburgh, 2012), A History of Everyday Life in Scotland, 1800 to 1900 (Edinburgh, 2010) and Irish and Scottish Encounters with Indigenous Peoples (Montreal & Kingston, 2013).


In this timely book Morton shows how the little that we know about Wallace has been grist to the mill of imaginative writers and politicians. He shows how this crucial and malleable figure in Scottish history and culture has been shaped and re-shaped by unionists and socialists as well as nationalists.

- Ewen A. Cameron, Professor of Scottish History, University of Edinburgh