David II, 1329-71


This major study of a formidable Scottish monarch is also the first in-depth treatment of four decades of crucially formative Scottish history. David II (1329-71), son of hero King of Scots, Robert Bruce (1306-29), has suffered a harsh historical press, condemned as a disastrous general, a womaniser and a sympathiser with Scotland's 'auld enemy', England. Bringing together evidence from Scotland, England and France, Michael Penman offers a different view: that of a child king who survived usurpation, English invasion, exile and eleven years of English captivity to emerge as a formidable ruler of Scotland. Learning from Philip VI of France and Edward III of England in turn, David became the charismatic patron of a vibrant court focused on the arts of chivalry. But David's was also a reign of internal tensions fuelled by his increasingly desperate efforts to determine the royal succession, overawe powerful rivals and persuade his subjects of the need for closer relations with England after sixty years of war.

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • East Linton, Scotland
Publication year:
  • 2004


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