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Book Review – Bannockburn by Angus Konstam

‘Everyone interested in the battle, for whatever reason, would do well to read this engaging book’ – Sunday Times

History and politics often become entangled in Scotland. The past can serve as inspiration for the future to some, and a lesson for others in potential mistakes to avoid. One thing is certain, Scottish history is not dead, and it’s not just for scholars and students.

On the eve of a hard-fought  referendum, history is often seen as a weapon for which to be wielded in a modern battle for the hearts and minds of the Scottish population. The Battle of Bannockburn (23-24 June, 1314) was a his­toric turning point for not only the Scots but the English as well, helping to define the political landscape  of Britain. A seminal moment from their past, the medieval battle has become  something of a patriotic  talisman for many Scots, despite the romantic myths which obscure what really happened.

Now, seven centuries later, debates on Scot­tish independence and national identity will undoubtedly be influenced by the events of 1314. Published to celebrate the 700th anniversary, this study is a compelling yet clear account of the Bannockburn battle, free from political spin, nationalistic embellishment, or dry academic jargon.

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