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On the Trail of the Real Macbeth, King of Alba

On the Trail of the Real Macbeth, King of Alba

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The story of the real Macbeth is every bit as compelling as the fictional drama created by Shakespeare, perhaps even more so. CAMERON TAYLOR AND ALISTAIR MURRAY

Voted 'Best Fictional Anti-Hero' in The Scotsman, recently reincarnated in comic book form and portrayed on stage and film throughout the world, Macbeth continues to capture the modern imagination.

Who was the man behind the myth?
How did Macbeth take the throne of Alba?
Was Lady Macbeth really as ruthless and vicious as Shakespeare suggests?
What impact did King Canute have on Macbeth’s life?
Who killed the real Macbeth?
And why is Shakespeare’s play simply referred to as ‘The Scottish Play’?

Unlike Shakespeare's murderous usurper, the real Macbeth had a legitimate claim to the ancient kingdom of Alba. From early childhood Macbeth fought real-life treachery and murder to protect his birthright. He went on to successfully rule Alba from 1040 to 1057 during a turbulent period of disputed territories, Viking invasion, the birth of feudalism, and the rise to power of the Roman Church.

Taylor and Murray offer a compelling portrait of a man about whom little is known for certain. They vividly evoke Macbeth's medieval Scotland, chronicle key battles, investigate the contentious royal bloodlines, and explore the evolution of the myth that was to follow one of Scotland's – and history's – most legendary and misunderstood figures.
Title On the Trail of the Real Macbeth, King of Alba
Author Cameron Taylor and Alastair Murray
ISBN 9781910745298
eISBN 9781910324615
Binding Paperback
Author Bio CAMERON TAYLOR graduated from Aberdeen University in 1979 with a degree in History. He had a career in the Civil Service before returning to his native Orkney to become CEO of Orkney Tourist Board. He established Seabridge Consultants in 2000 and has pursued a variety of cultural heritage and tourism interests since then. He now lives in Moray where Macbeth’s ghost still haunts the past. His first book, Rooted in Scotland, was published by the Luath Press in 2007.

ALISTAIR MURRAY established Atlantic Marketing in 2004 after a varied career spanning three continents, ranging from oil exploration to leading manufacturing and media companies. He now pursues a number of interests in the creative industries and undertakes strategic consultancy. He currently lives in Caithness, where the surging tides of the Atlantic wash the jagged edge of Europe.
Back Cover Text The story of the real Macbeth is every bit as compelling as the fictional drama created by Shakespeare, perhaps even more so. CAMERON TAYLOR AND ALISTAIR MURRAY

Voted 'Best Fictional Anti-Hero' in The Scotsman, recently reincarnated in comic book form and portrayed on stage and film throughout the world, Macbeth continues to capture the modern imagination.

Who was the man behind the myth?
How did Macbeth take the throne of Alba?
Was Lady Macbeth really as ruthless and vicious as Shakespeare suggests?
What impact did King Canute have on Macbeth’s life?
Who killed the real Macbeth?
And why is Shakespeare’s play simply referred to as ‘The Scottish Play’?

Unlike Shakespeare's murderous usurper, the real Macbeth had a legitimate claim to the ancient kingdom of Alba. From early childhood Macbeth fought real-life treachery and murder to protect his birthright. He went on to successfully rule Alba from 1040 to 1057 during a turbulent period of disputed territories, Viking invasion, the birth of feudalism, and the rise to power of the Roman Church.

Taylor and Murray offer a compelling portrait of a man about whom little is known for certain. They vividly evoke Macbeth's medieval Scotland, chronicle key battles, investigate the contentious royal bloodlines, and explore the evolution of the myth that was to follow one of Scotland's – and history's – most legendary and misunderstood figures.
Table of Contents

Contents

Maps 6

Foreword by Professor Graeme Morton 13

Shakespeare and Macbeth: Fact versus Fiction 15

Preface and Acknowledgements 17

Introduction 21

Chapter 1 Early Life 25
Chapter 2 The Winning of Moray and Gruoch 39
Chapter 3 Everything Depends On This 53
Chapter 4 King of Alba 69
Chapter 5 The Kingdom of Heaven 85
Chapter 6 The End of Many Things 109
Chapter 7 The Beginning of Countless Tales 123

On the Trail of the Real Macbeth 135

Appendix A Notes 137
Appendix B People 144
Appendix C Chronology 151
Appendix D Selected Further Reading 156
Appendix E King Macbeth

Touring Itinerary 158 

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