Composed in the 1370s, John Barbour's The Bruce is a foundational work of Scottish literature written in the vernacular. A long narrative poem recounting the story of Robert the Bruce's struggle to reassert Scotland's status as an independent nation, it is also our main source of information about Bruce's life. Since deciphering the medieval text is a daunting struggle for most readers, this book seeks to make The Bruce accessible to a wider public by rendering it into modern English in a free translation which aims to be readable yet faithful to the sense and spirit of the original.
Now retired, James Higgins is a former Professor of Latin American Literature at the University of Liverpool and a Fellow of the British Academy. This book is born of a lifelong interest in the literature of his native Scotland and of his conviction that the literature of early times should not be the exclusive preserve of academic specialists.