Throwing my imagination into years gone by, researching dark periods of strife and violence, justice and quests for freedom, and dreaming of what it may have been like to live and survive during these hostile periods have been the most fascinating aspects of writing historical romance.
Cameron, the first book in my Daughters of Alastair MacDougall series, begins in May 1297, a time of unrest between Scotland and England.
The death of Alexander III in 1286, followed by the demise of Queen Margaret in 1290, became a time of consternation for Scotland. Labeled as The Great Cause, a fight for the Scottish throne ensued between two powerful men, John Balliol and Robert de Bruce. Unable to agree on a successor, Scottish nobles requested the help of England’s King Edward I. The king and his vast army arrived at Norham Castle and agreed to settle the dispute under the condition of the Scot’s pledge to him as their feudal overlord.
Shrewdly, the Scots explained something of this magnitude would have to be the decision of the newly appointed king. Edward spent over a year arbitrating between 13 claimants for the throne. But before he would decree judgment, he forced all contenders to accept him as overlord of Scotland. Some say John Balliol appeared the easiest to manipulate so Edward ruled in his favor and appointed him as King of Scotland in November 1292.
Much to Edward’s chagrin, Balliol stood strong against England’s attempt at wielding power over their country. He balked at providing troops for Edward’s war with France. Instead, Balliol sided with the French and attacked Carlisle. As a result, Edward retaliated, and the Battle of Dunbar ensued in April 1296. Afterwards, Balliol was stripped of his power and imprisoned in the Tower of London.
Many skirmishes followed the Scottish defeat. In 1298, Robert de Bruce, one of country’s most famous warriors, emerged as the Guardian of Scotland. During his reign, he led rebels bent on freedom from England’s tyranny and preserving their way of life, ultimately regaining the country’s independence.
Isn’t history fascinating?
Thank you for stopping by and visiting with me today. I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment to let me know favorite historical events that draw you into the period. What about them captivates you, invokes passionate images of struggle and survival? What are your favorite historical books and movies that intrigue you…and why?