Wallace tale needs higher tech

25th May 2012 at 01:00
Parliament calls for help to update the history of a Scottish leader. Emma Seith reports

Schools are being challenged to examine how 21st-century technology could be used to tell the story of Scottish leader William Wallace as part of an exhibition at the Scottish parliament this August.

News travelled very slowly in Wallace's time. In 13th- and 14th-century Europe, official letters were written in Latin in pen and ink and then delivered by hand. This could mean weeks, if not months, of journeys across land and sea.

This was certainly the case for the two documents with a direct link to Wallace which will provide the centrepiece of the Scottish Parliament exhibition, "The William Wallace Letters".

The first is the so-called Lubeck Letter, issued by Wallace and Andrew Moray after their success at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297.

The second is a letter dating from 1300, from the French King Philip IV to his agents at the Papal Court, asking them to assist Wallace in his business before the Pope.

In order to set the letters in their context, the parliament is urging schools to help it tell the story of Wallace and the protracted struggle for power played across Europe during the Scottish Wars of Independence, from the death of the Maid of Norway in September 1290 to the execution of William Wallace in August 1305.

It is suggested schools might want to:

- write some modern newspaper or website headlines about key events;

- write some tweetsblogs to tell the story;

- write a short article or poem;

- make a poster, collage or cartoon of the man;

- make a short film that highlights pupils' views and those of their peers;

- record a "vox pop" containing short comments and opinions about Wallace.

Contributions must be submitted before Friday 15 June.


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