Friday, December 26, 2008

Nigel Tranter

I am so enjoying reading yet another Nigel Tranter novel. This one is "Tapestry of the Boar", published in 1993 by Hodder and Stoughton Limited. It's a typically magnificant historical fiction romp around the pivotal times of Scotland's ancient past. The cover truthfully describes "this gripping 12th century tale of action, chivalry and romance." Set in the reign of Malcolm the Fourth, Hugh de Swinton aids in the establishing of Scotland's first real hospital at Soutra de Lauerdale. This is all set to the background competition of Celtic Scottish highlanders and Norman Scottish Lowlanders, the Roman Catholic church imposing on celtic Christianity while all the while English Plantaget wants all Scotland under his English flag. Meanwhile politics always seems to interfere with shepherding and cattle droving and birthing all round.

As I've a friend living now in Kirkcubright it was a joy to see that name mentioned here. Tranter's descriptions of geography brings fondly to mind my own time visitting Scotland. At times I think I should have the music of Old Blind Dog playing in the background. Either that or the Simon Fraser Pipe Band. Soon Robbie Burns dinner will be here and I'll again be hearing the glorious toast to the hagus before the annual partaking of that sacred fare.

With the snow outside ever deeper I'm so thankful to have found this Nigel Tranter in the hospital gift shop so that I can curl up in warmth in bed and be whisked away in time and place by that most enchanting of story tellers.

Excuse me now I must leave this motel room and get back to escorting a princess on mission for the king on a sailing ship bound for Holland.

No comments: