William Wallace: A national tale

    Research output: Book/ReportBook

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    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. William Wallace: A National Tale examines the elision of Wallace's after-life into narrative ascendency, dominating the ideology and politics of nationalism in Scotland. This narrative is conceptualised as the national tale, a term taken out of its literary moorings to scrutinise how the personal biography of a medieval patriot has been evoked and presented as the nation's biography over seven centuries of time. Through the verse of Blind Hary, the romance of Jane Porter, to the historical imaginations of Braveheart and Brave, Scotland's national tale has been forged. This is a fresh, engaging and timely exploration into Wallace's hold over Scotland's national mythology. © Graeme Morton, 2014.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationEdinburgh
    PublisherEdinburgh University Press
    Number of pages257
    ISBN (Electronic)9780748685646, 9780748685653
    ISBN (Print)9780748685394, 9780748685639
    Publication statusPublished - 6 Oct 2014


    • William Wallace
    • National Tale
    • Scottish Nationalism
    • historiography
    • Jane Porter
    • Scottish Chiefs
    • Blind Hary
    • Robert the Bruce

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'William Wallace: A national tale'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Research Output

    • 1 Citations
    • 1 Chapter (peer-reviewed)

    Bruce, Wallace, and the Diminished Present, 1800-1964

    Morton, G., 1 Jan 2017, Scotland and the First World War: Myth, Memory, and the Legacy of Bannockburn. Plain, G. (ed.). Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, p. 27-45 18 p. 2. (Aperçus: Histories Texts Cultures).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)


    • 2 Participation in conference
    • 2 Festival/Exhibition
    • 1 Participation in workshop, seminar, course
    • 1 Public engagement and outreach - public lecture/debate/seminar

    Brexit - the consequences

    Graeme Morton (Invited speaker)

    16 Sep 2016

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

    Tartan Day and William Wallace: A National Tale

    Graeme Morton (Speaker)

    9 Apr 2016

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

    Invited Public Lecture

    Graeme Morton (Speaker)

    17 Sep 2016

    Activity: Other activity typesPublic engagement and outreach - public lecture/debate/seminar


    No photo of Graeme Morton

    Cite this

    Morton, G. (2014). William Wallace: A national tale. (2nd ed.) Edinburgh University Press.