First published in 2002, and here introduced by Dauvit Broun as a core text in Scottish medieval history, this classic work is considered one of the most invaluable critiques of kingship in Scotland during the nation's foundations. In the early years of the period a custom of succession within one royal lineage allowed the Gaelic kingdom to grow in authority and extent. The Norman Conquest of England altered the balance of power between the north and south, and the relationship between the two kingdoms, which had never been easy, became unstable. When Scotland became kingless in 1286, Edward I exploited the succession debate between Balliol and Bruce and set claim to overlordship of Scotland until Bruce's coronation fixed the right of succession by law for Scottish kingship. In a meticulous account of this period, Professor Duncan disentangles the power struggles during the 'Great Cause' between the Balliols and the Bruces, and of the actions, motives and decisive interventions of Edward I. The Kingship of the Scots is historical scholarship at its best - thoughtful, challenging, incisive and readable.
A. A. M. Duncan is Emeritus Professor of Scottish History at the University of Glasgow, where he was Professor of Scottish History from 1962 to 1993. He is a revered Scottish Historian from the same generation of scholars as Geoffrey Barrow.