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More info on Historical novels by Nigel Tranter set between 1286-1603

Historical novels by Nigel Tranter set between 1286-1603: Map

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The Scottish author Nigel Tranter wrote many novels based on actual historical events and characters.

This page includes those of his historical novels set in Scotlandmarker in the period 1286-1603. This begins with the death of Alexander III, which precipitated the Contest for the Crown and the Wars of Scottish Independence. The period closes with the Union of the Crowns in 1603, when James VI of Scotland acceded the English throne.

For Tranter's historical novels set outside this timeframe see:



For other books by Nigel Tranter, see here.

The Wars of Independence (1286-1329)

The Isleman

Angus Og of Islay

The Wallace

First Published in 1975

1296-1305 William Wallace

Robert the Bruce trilogy

Originally published as three books; later re-published in one volume as The Bruce Trilogy.

Robert the Bruce: The Steps to the Empty Throne

First published in 1969 by Hodder & Stoughton.

Set during the period 1296-1306, this book follows the life of Robert, Earl of Carrick as he begins to understand his destiny. It begins with John I of Scotland (John Balliol) humiliated and stripped of his crown by Edward I of England. A shocked witness, Robert Bruce has to consider his own loyalties. As Scotland suffers an English invasion and occupation, Bruce begins his struggle to establish a new order in Scotland. He both collaborates, and clashes with his contemporary William Wallace; he forms alliances and friendships with, amongst others, James Douglas and William de Lamberton, and becomes a deadly rival of John Comyn. Bruce and Comyn's argument in Greyfriars Church, which resulted in Comyn's death, occasions Bruce's hasty crowning as King of Scotland. The story ends with his loss at the Battle of Methven, and escape.

By telling the story from Bruce's point-of-view, Tranter shows clearly how Scotland's turbulent politics and Bruce's own mixed loyalties informed his actions, providing credible motives for his apparent "switching sides" (as he had supported Edward I at one time) and his murder of Comyn.

For further historical detail see: Wars of Scottish Independence;First War of Scottish Independence.

Robert the Bruce: The Path of the Hero King

First published in 1970 by Hodder & Stoughton.

1306-1314

Robert the Bruce: The Price of the King's Peace

First published in 1971 by Hodder & Stoughton.

1314-1329

The Bruce Legacy (1329-1406)

Flowers of Chivalry

First published in 1987

Set during 1332-1342, this novel depicts Scotland in the aftermath of Bruce's death under the reign of his son David II, focussing on the tale ofAlexander Ramsay and William Douglas, Lord of Liddesdale.

Courting Favour

First published in 2000

Set during 1369-1391, during the reigns of David II and Robert II, the story follows John Dunbar, 4th Earl of Moray.

Stewart trilogy

Originally comprising three books, the trilogy has since re-appeared as one volume.

Lords of Misrule

First published in 1976

1388-1390 - from the Battle of Otterburnmarker to the coronation of Robert III of Scotland.

A Folly of Princes

First published in 19771396-1402 - from the Battle of the Clansmarker to the death of David Stewart, Duke of Rothesay.

The Captive Crown

First published in 19771402-1411 - following directly from Folly of Princes and ending with the Battle of Harlawmarker.

The End of the Line

The Jameses (1406-1542)

Lion Let Loose

First published in 1967

1403-1437 James I

The Lion's Whelp

First published in 1997

Set between 1437-1460, during the reign of James II, the book describes the boy-king's time under regents Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl of Douglas, Lord Crichton, and Sir Alexander Livingston, and the plot to kill William Douglas, 6th Earl of Douglas at the "Black Dinner", seen through the eyes of Alexander Lyon, Master and then 2nd Lord of Glamis. The book ends with the death of James.

Black Douglas

First published in 1968

Set 1448-1452, this book covers in detail some of the aspects of the reign of James II, and the fall of the Black Douglases. It features William Douglas, 8th Earl of Douglas, who restored the power of the Earls of Douglas following the murder of his predecessor, the 6th earl. The book ends with William's murder at the hands of James II himself, in Stirling Castlemarker.

Price of a Princess

First published in 1994

Set 1466-1469, the book follows Princess Mary Stewart, sister of James III, and her first husband Thomas Boyd, Earl of Arran.

Lord in Waiting

First published in 1994 by Hodder & Stoughton ISBN 6780340587850

1474-1488: Princess Mary Stewart and John Douglas of Douglasdale

The Admiral

First published in 2001 by Hodder & Stoughton. Paperback edition 2001.

The story of Sir Andrew Wood of Largo, sea-captain under James III, James IV and the infant James V.

Chain of Destiny

First published in 1964

1488-1513 James IV

A Flame for the Fire

First published in 1998

1494-1513 James IV, his mistress Janet Kennedy, and her brother David Kennedy, 1st Earl of Cassilis

A Stake in the Kingdom

First published in 1966.

1513-1546 James V and Cardinal David Beaton

James V trilogy

The Riven Realm

First published in 1984

Set 1513-1524, focusses on James V of Scotland and Sir David Lyndsay of the Mount.

James by the Grace of God

First published 1985

1524-1537

Rough Wooing

First published 1986

1537-1550

Mary and James VI (1513-1603)

The Marchman

1542-1563

Warden of the Queen's March

1561-1568

The Queen's Grace

1562

A Rage of Regents

1568-1587

Right Royal Friend

Master of Gray trilogy

Lord and Master

1574-1587

The Courtesan

1587-1592

Past Master

1592-1603

Children of the Mist


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