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Home » Forums » The Books » Forest Laird
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Valinn
Sources Used

Mr Whyte,

I was just curious as to what sources you used to write The Forest Laird? I am currently biding my time until The Renegade comes out (I have already ordered my copy from Amazon-Canada since I refuse to wait until it gets published in the US...lol) by reading Andrew Fisher's "William Wallace" and was just wondering if you used any of it as well as what other sources or books on Wallace that you may have used, read, or referred to. Thanks.

Richard Rutledge

Burnette65
Historical Fiction vs. Historical Fact

How much is known about William Wallace's personal life? The movie, "Braveheart", has Mirren being killed just after their marriage. Jane Porter's, The Scottish Chiefs: The
True Story of Braveheart says that she was killed in their home with a thrust of the sword to her chest with other books having yet different versions of her death. Did your research reveal information that you related in your book about Wallace?

Jack Whyte
Jack Whyte's picture
Historical fact Vs fiction...

Over the course of 700 years, Wallace the man has been replaced by his own Myth and it is almost impossible today to discover what's real and what's fabricated myth-making in the details of his early life... We have nothing that he owned--not even the famous Wallace Sword, which dates from at least a hundred years after his death. Everything else has rotted, rusted, or been destroyed--wood, clothing, metal and stone... The only thing we know with any kind of certainty about Mirren is that she existed and was killed violently. We don't even know if she was really Wallace's wife, or his mistress. The word used to describe her is his "leman", which could mean lover, paramour, mistress or wife, depending upon context. Believe me, I searched high and low for any kind of information I could fine on the lady, and all I could discover was her maiden name and the name of her father, in whose house in Lamington, Lanarkshire, she was raised. And so, based upon the paucity of information I could find, I tried to present her sympathetically and realistically, setting her against what I had also learned of Wallace's own life and character.

Jack Whyte
Jack Whyte's picture
Sources for "The Forest Laird."

Hello, Richard: this reply is long overdue, so I hope you get to read it. I went to great lengths in my "Acknowledgment" section of the book to detail the sources I used in preparing the novel, so it's all there. To encapsulate it, though, let me just say that the success (and the historical inaccuracies) of the movie "Braveheart", combined with the fact that the Museum of Scotland that opened in Edinburgh of 1997 contained not a single mention or artifact to do with Wallace, resulted in an entirely new wave of Academic research into the origins of the man himself and what could be said about him with a degree of pragmatic confidence. That new research, from a number of sources, formed the matrix against which I postulated my theories about Wallace and his times.

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The International Surrey Writers Conference is coming up October 24-26, 2014 in Surrey, BC, Canada. Last year, members of the Forum here lead by user andersm presented to Jack the items pictured including a leather bound collection of stories from readers about Jack and his work.

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