Scots on the edge


History has lots of great stories to tell so, while King Alfred messed up in his ninth century Great British Bake Off tent, a similarly despairing Robert the Bruce gained inspiration from a humble spider – and the story of the Earl of Carrick, or King Robert I, has been taken up by Robyn Young in a three-part series of historical novels called Insurrection. The final volume of the trilogy Kingdom has just been published.

This is all very timely, since 700 years ago the flower of Scotland under former troglodyte Robert the Bruce famously beat the English army under Edward II at the Battle of Bannockburn, sending proud Edward’s army home tae think again! And Robyn Young is giving a talk at Rye Arts Festival on  Tuesday September 16th, just two days before the momentous Scottish vote on independence takes place on Thursday September 18th.

The Brighton-based novelist (pictured) is not taking sides in the debate and is using a terrific historical character and a real life plot based on intrigue, split loyalties and betrayal – and that is just for starters – to tell a rollicking story. But it has to be said that for many Scots there is still unfinished business to be completed!

Robyn is a relatively young novelist, but she has already sold over two million books in 22 different countries in 19 languages and she has completed not one but two trilogies of historical fiction! Her earlier Brethren series was set a little later than the current set and focused on the Knights Templar as a theme. However Robyn will be focusing on Robert the Bruce for her talk, but she has a fascinating and varied back story in her own right. If you want to find out more, her talk is at 3pm on Tuesday September 16th in the Marquee in Lamb House garden, and tickets are available for £12.

To see more details or book online visit

Andy Stuart is a trustee of the Rye Arts Festival committee. Photo by Sarah Bird

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