Download The Steel Bonnets: The Story of the Anglo-Scottish Border by George MacDonald Fraser PDF

By George MacDonald Fraser

From the thirteenth century to the center of the sixteenth, outlaws and “border lords” reigned ideally suited at the contentious frontier among England and Scotland. Feud and terror, raid and reprisal, have been the standard stuff of existence, and tool was once held via the infamous border reivers: raiders and freebooters, plunderers and rustlers who robbed, murdered, and wreaked havoc. George MacDonald Fraser, writer of the bestselling Flashman novels, takes us again via 3 centuries of clash, displaying how the frontier society used to be born and grew; how the quarter outfitted into the international relations of the bordering international locations; and the way, with marvelous suddenness, the realm of the reivers disappeared. Fraser has crafted a desirable paintings of great background and scholarship that’s as irresistibly compelling as any novel.

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Additional resources for The Steel Bonnets: The Story of the Anglo-Scottish Border Reivers

Sample text

The point is that the English were by far the major share of the effort; as a national powerhouse, they were in a class by themselves. Scotland has lived with and alongside this for several centuries, and that in itself is an achievement. If anything in their history demonstrates that the Scots are remarkable, it is that in spite of being physically attached to England, they have survived as a people, with their own culture, laws, institutions, and, like the English, their own ideas. But it has not been easy, and the marks show.

Out of the historic tangle, there certainly emerged among English kings a belief that they had, traditionally, some kind of superiority over the Scottish king, and no doubt a feeling that for the sake of political security and unity—one might say almost of tidiness—it would be better if Scotland were under English control, or at best, added to England. This attitude can be charitably seen as politically realistic, or at the other extreme, as megalomaniac; it is all in the point of view. Canmore made his submission, then, for what it was worth, but before long he was harrying in England again.

Nor is patriotism, a common resort of the apologist, of much use in this context; patriotism was, as will be seen, frequently well down the scale of the Borderer’s priorities. So, while admitting that it is difficult not to see the romantic side, it is important to keep it in perspective. At the other extreme from the romantics are the historical specialists, who have dealt with various parts of the Border question—international politics, administration, military history, genealogical research, and a host of much smaller topics which have been examined in minute detail.

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