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Edward Bruce

a Medeival Tragedy

Roger Chatterton-Newman

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Edward Bruce, Earl of Carrick and, briefly, self-made King of Ireland, is an actor on the stage of early fourteenth century history whose role has been overshadowed by that of his brother Robert. In the view of the author of this absorbing book, perhaps the tragedy of Edward's life is that he did not fall in 1314 at the battle of Bannockburn, which his impetuosity had precipitated and which was to remain his lasting victory. Having supported Robert loyally throughout his campaign to gain the Scottish throne, he became hungry for a crown of his own.

Ireland, torn by warring nobles and factions, offered Edward his chance when he was invited by the chieftains in Ulster to help rid their kingdom of the Anglo-Norman magnates. Robert supported their adventure, hoping it would divert English attention, and forces, from contemplating a new invasion of Scotland. At first Edward was virtually unopposed and was proclaimed King of all Ireland in May 1316. However, the reluctance of the Irish to unite behind one whom many regarded as an interloper, and Edward's failure to take Dublin at the strategic moment, left his fate in the balance. This book follows the story to its disastrous conclusion and shows how it was that no Bruce dynasty came to be established in Ireland.

Roger Chatterton-Newman is an established author whose other books include Brian Boru, King of Ireland, regarded as a standard work on tenth century Irish history, Murtagh and the Vikings, an historical adventure story for children, and Betwixt Petersfield and Midhurst, a personal record of the West Sussex countryside in which he lives.


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