Historical novels by Nigel Tranter set before 1286

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Nigel Tranter is a Scottish author who wrote many novels based on actual historical events and characters.

This page includes those of his books set in Scotland from earliest times until the death of Alexander III in 1286.

For other historical novels by Nigel Tranter see Historical novels by Nigel Tranter set between 1286 and 1603 or Historical novels by Nigel Tranter set after 1603

For other books by Nigel Tranter see here.

List of books in chronological order[edit]

Druid Sacrifice[edit]

First published in 1993 by Hodder & Stoughton. Paperback edition 1993.

Set during the period AD 518–543, the book tells the story of Thanea, or Denw, the daughter of King Loth (Lleuddun) of Gododdin, and mother of Saint Mungo. When she objects to her pagan father's druidical practices, and refuses to marry the man picked out for her, she survives an 'execution' on Traprain Law and is cast adrift on the River Forth in a Coracle. She seeks sanctuary with the monks of Saint Serf, where she brings up her infant son.

Tranter's tale blends historical detail from early manuscripts with Scottish folklore and Arthurian legend. According to the latter, Loth is King Arthur's brother-in-law, and father of Gawain and Mordred.

Columba[edit]

First published by Hodder & Stoughton in 1987. Paperback edition 1990.

Set approx. 563–597, this tells of Saint Columba.

Kenneth[edit]

Originally published by Hodder & Stoughton in 1990. Paperback edition 1992.

Set circa AD 832–843, the title character is Kenneth MacAlpin, who united the Picts and Scots.

High Kings and Vikings[edit]

First published in 1998 by Hodder & Stoughton. Paperback edition 1998.

Set in the years 995–1006

MacBeth the King[edit]

First published in 1978 by Hodder & Stoughton. Paperback edition 1981.

Covering the years 1032–1057, this book tells of Macbeth, who acceded the throne of Scotland in 1040. Basing the story around what is known of MacBeth, Tranter has fleshed out the story, and his final 'Historical Note' explains some of his suppositions. From historical record, it is certain that Macbeth was a young, well-liked king, and bore little resemblance to Shakespeare's fictional version.

Margaret the Queen[edit]

First published in 1979 by Hodder & Stoughton. Paperback edition 1981.

Set in 1069–1093, this book tells the story of Saint Margaret of Scotland and her husband, Malcolm III (Canmore).

David the Prince[edit]

First published in 1980 by Hodder & Stoughtton. Paperback edition 1982.

Set in 1100–1153, Tranter tells the story of Queen Margaret's sons Alexander I and David I.

Lord of the Isles[edit]

First published in 1983 by Hodder & Stoughton. Paperback edition 1985.

1135–1164 Somerled

Tapestry of the Boar[edit]

First published in 1993 by Hodder & Stoughton. Paperback edition 1994.

Set between 1160–1166, the storyline centres around Hugh de Swinton and his relationship with Malcolm IV

Sword of State[edit]

First published in 1999 by Hodder & Stoughton. Paperback edition 1999.

Set 1214–1249, the story follows Patrick II, Earl of Dunbar in his dealings with Alexander II.

Envoy Extraordinary[edit]

First published in 1999 by Hodder & Stoughton.

Set 1249–1286, this book continues the tale of the Cospatricks, by following the life of Patrick III, Earl of Dunbar and Alexander III.

Crusader[edit]

First published in 1991 by Hodder & Stoughton. Paperback edition 1991.

Set between 1248–1264, the book tells the story of Alexander III and David de Lindsay

True Thomas[edit]

First published in 1981 by Hodder & Stoughton. Paperback edition

Set ?1265–1292. Based on Thomas the Rhymer, it follows the life of Alexander III, and the turmoil of the kingdom following his death.