Well, I just finished William Wallace: Brave Heart by James Mackay. The book was tough to read. At first, I was consuming every detail of the book. Bad idea. In every chapter, Mackay studiously compares various historical documents and makes a case for the likeliest events (e.g. Where did battle-x really occur?). Great for a dissertation. Not great for my purposes. Regardless, I enjoyed reading it. But it was even better finishing it.
My "take"? William Wallace‘s life was pretty amazing. He didn’t have the advantage of great land holdings or titles of nobility. Despite this, he rose from anonymity to lead Scotland and even become its "guardian" (leader) for a short time. He almost always fought from a numerical disadvantage but surprisingly was able to drive the power of the English from Scotland.
Where was Mel Gibson’s Braveheart true? Wallace’s rise to power, the tenuous support of the Scottish nobility, his betrayal by a friend, and his gruesome death were all affirmed. Where did Mel take poetic license? William Wallace was 6 feet 7 inches tall…a giant of a man in those days. Mel‘s around 5 feet 8-9 inches tall.
All in all, a powerful story of the impact an ordinary man can have with courage, perseverance, and single-minded purpose. It’s a story that touches a desire deep in me. But I see two things going on in my soul: a desire to be that type of man and a fear that I’m not. (Is that in every man?) I’ve decided to rest in the truth and believe what someone wrote about me and told me.