Albion: The Origins of the English Imagination by Peter Ackroyd

By Peter Ackroyd

Together with his attribute enthusiasm and erudition, Peter Ackroyd follows his acclaimed London: A Biography with an encouraged look at the guts and the heritage of the English mind's eye. to inform the tale of its evolution, Ackroyd levels throughout literature and portray, philosophy and technology, structure and tune, from Anglo-Saxon occasions to the twentieth-century. contemplating what's so much English approximately artists as diversified as Chaucer, William Hogarth, Benjamin Britten and Viriginia Woolf, Ackroyd identifies a bunch of occasionally contradictory components: pragmatism and whimsy, blood and gore, a fondness for the earlier, a get pleasure from eccentricity, and lots more and plenty extra. a super, enticing and sometimes extraordinary narrative, Albion reveals the manifold nature of English genius.

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As a result of these circumstances, Fordun’s narrative strongly emphasises three themes – the growth of the Scottish nation and patriotism, the cause of Scottish independence and the importance of the Scottish monarchy in supporting these objectives. In view of the latter point, it is hardly surprising that Fordun’s chief hero was Robert Bruce, who restored an independent Scottish monarchy in 1306, rather than William Wallace. The Kinghorn Monument. This monument to King Alexander III, who died mysteriously on 18 March 1286 while travelling in a storm from Edinburgh to Kinghorn in Fife, is a reminder of the political uncertainty in Scotland during William Wallace’s early years.

Tradition has made Riccarton the place of birth of William Wallace’s father. Blind Harry associates William’s father with the land ‘of Ellerslie’, which has long been accepted as Elderslie, near Paisley. Consequently Elderslie has been associated with William Wallace’s birth, though there is no proof that his family held this area at the end of the thirteenth century. They did possess it by the late fourteenth century and it lay in the heart of Stewart country. This plaque on the Elderslie Wallace Monument shows Wallace receiving the Guardianship of Scotland.

The mistakes that remain are entirely our own, as are the opinions contained in the book. C. Roads, Lyon Clerk and Keeper of the Records at the Court of the Lord Lyon, for her valuable assistance with research on seals. Staff of Historic Scotland were most helpful in sourcing photographs, as were the staff at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Paisley Museum and Art Galleries and the British Library. We are again most grateful to Joanne Ripley for the speedy and efficient manner in which the final draft was put on disk.

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