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Thanks to Shakespeare, the name Macbeth has become a byword for political ambition realised by bloody violence. Fiona Watson has uncovered, buried beneath the layers of myth, a history that is entirely different from, but just as extraordinary as, that recounted by Shakespeare. As ruler of Alba (Scotland) Macbeth sat on one of the longest-established thrones in Western Europe. It is true that he killed Duncan, the previous king, but this was the normal, if brutal, method of regime change in Dark Age Scotland.

The reality is that Macbeth quickly established himself as an effective and popular ruler. As a Celtic warrior-king, he was responsible for the maintenance of his people’s dominance of northern Britain. A friend to the Church and valiant protector of his people, the real Macbeth epitomised the contemporary model of vigorous medieval kingship. His fascinating story, long overdue in the telling, is done full justice in Fiona Watson’s authoritative and compelling narrative.

Genre: Biography & True Stories / Biography: General / Biography: Historical, Political & Military

On Sale: 30th March 2011

Price: £12.99

ISBN-13: 9780857381606


'A lucid picture of a Celtic warrior-king of some sophistication who was respected and loved... A fascinating read through Scotland's Middle Ages' Big Issue.
Big Issue
'The Macbeth Shakespeare discovered had already been demonised for several centuries. But, as Fiona Watson's scholarly study demonstrates, the real story is very different' Daily Telegraph.
Daily Telegraph
'A brilliantly researched and engaging study ... She's a bonny writer ... and has that rare gift of combining impressive knowledge with a lively and winning voice' Herald.
'Thrilling' The Scotsman.
'Gripping ... An essential corrective to generations of scholarship' BBC History Magazine.
BBC History Magazine