The early Scottish kingdom underwent a fundamental transformation between the tenth and twelfth centuries. It started out as the Kingdom of Alba with a largely Gaelic language and culture and strong links to Ireland. It ended up as the Kingdom of Scotland with a more mixed culture, increasingly influenced by its southern English neighbour. This fundamental change is usually attributed to two important figures, St Margaret (wife of Malcolm Canmore) and David I (his son). Malcolm Canmore himself has remained misunderstood and under-appreciated, despite the fact that he was a central figure during this period of change. He ruled for 36 years and had spent more than 15 years in exile in England before his eventual succession to the throne in 1057. He maintained closer relations with England than most of his predecessors and he moved the focal centre of the kingdom further south than ever before and into former Northumbrian territory. The hosue which Malcolm founded lasted 250 years, until the death of Alexander III. This important book on early medieval Scottish history considers how and why the Scottish kingdom was changed at this time. In particular, it looks at the role of individuals who initiated or influenced this process.
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