Barbour's The Brus is a true epic -- the story in verse of Scotland's great national hero. Tom Scott has adapted the poem into simple idiomatic English suitable for reading from the age of about ten upwards. It is a free 'translation' adding historical detail and 'pointing up' Barbour in such ways, imaginary and factual, as are necessary for the modern reader, always aiming at clarity of picture and narrative.
The Bruce story is one of the world's greatest romances and all children everywhere (and many adults!) should find it enthralling and exciting. It is as universal as Ulysses or El Cid.
Tom Scott was born in Glasgow in 1918. His father was a boiler-maker, and Red Clydeside was an enduring influence. His early years were spent working as a stonemason in St Andrews -- the town and its 'characters' later appeared in his poem sequence Brand the Builder. After the Second World War, he lived in London, taking part in its literary life. His first use of Scots as a poetic language, encouraged by T.S. Eliot, was in translations of Villon. Scott returned to Scotland in 1952 and studied at Newbattle Abbey and later at Edinburgh University. His doctoral thesis on Dunbar became the basis of a published critical study, still among the standard works in the field. A socialist and a nationalist, Tom Scott wrote a number of long and complex poems in Scots. He also edited The Oxford Book of Scottish Verse, with John MacQueen; and The Penguin Book of Scottish Verse. A selection of his work, The Collected Shorter Poems, was published by Agenda/Chapman, Edinburgh, in 1993. Scott died in 1995.