Jack Whyte … a Scottish-born, award-winning Canadian author … is well-known for writing the Camulod Chronicles, a retelling of the creation of King Arthur’s Britain. He has now written a new book entitled “The Forest Laird”. I’ve just reserved a copy at my local library and am hoping to get it before not too long. It’s a story of William Wallace, written from the point of view of his cousin, a priest. When asked why he has not written a book about Wallace before now, he respectfully said he did not want to tread on the toes of Nigel Tranter (who I mentioned in my last post and who I think is fabulous), who has written some amazing literature on Wallace but also Whyte said that up until about 15 years ago, actual facts on Wallace were scarce.
The thing that caught my attention about this book is the link this author makes from Wallace to Robin Hood. Whyte says that Wallace’s first job was working for his uncle Malcolm as a woodsman and gameskeeper in the forest. He dressed in green, carried a longbow and was in Selkirk Forest (which eventually becomes Sherwood Forest). Wallace’s girlfriend’s name was Marion, who was killed by the “Sheriff of Lanark” and Lanark (under British rule) fell under the jurisdiction of Nottingham.
“You don’t have to be a genius to add up two and two and get Robin Hood,” Whyte says. “And I firmly believe that this man, as a young man, was the archetype from which the legend of Robin Hood grew.”
For more information, there is a good article in the Calgary Herald (December 5, 2010), where I got most of this information.
Interesting thought … now I’ll just have to read the book. If you’ve already read it or if you have thoughts on this, let me know what you think.