My fascination with medieval Scotland began when I was assigned to read William Shakespeare’s Macbeth for a twelfth-grade high school English class. Before we had to hand in some summaries or essays (I can’t remember), the teacher decided to nix the assignment but I read the play nonetheless and became obsessed. I was particularly excited to read the play because I had had a fixation with Scotland in general since I was fourteen and because I had never read Shakespeare before. But reading Macbeth not only trigged my excitement for medieval Scotland, it initiated a path of self-discovery where I am successfully changing careers and following my dream of studying Scottish history.

And why Malcolm Canmore? As I searched for historical information about King Malcolm, I kept coming up against the same issue: I could not find a study about King Malcolm, either the historical person or the literary character.  I decided to do my MA dissertation about the portrayal of King Malcolm in the Life of Saint Margaret, Queen of Scots by Turgot, bishop of St Andrews. My dissertation was literary in approach and heavily reliant on postcolonial and gender theories. Studying the portrayal of King Malcolm was satisfying in two different levels: it encouraged a fresh look into the Life of Saint Margaret, while simultaneously allowing me to engage with other specialised fields and different historical/literary approaches. Searching for King Malcolm has pushed my boundaries, requiring an interdisciplinary approach.

Now I am a PhD candidate whose thesis will examine the evolution of the literary portrayal of King Malcolm in Scottish and English chronicles and its repercussions in the construction of Scottish identity. So this site has a dual purpose. First, to reflect and discuss on the different medieval portrayals of King Malcolm; second, to document the process of conducting research for a PhD in Scottish History, including the pitfalls and roadblocks found on the way. I am also interest in intersections of history and literature and in medieval maps, so they might make an occassional appearance on this blog.

Marian Toledo Candelaria


2 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Marian Thank you for creating this Blog about your research. I think it’s fantastic that you’re following your dream of studying Medieval Scottish History. I’ve been able to trace a branch of my family history back to Malcolm III and Saint Margaret who are my 24th great grandparents. I’m sure they have many millions of living descendants. I really enjoy reading works about my medieval Scottish ancestors. I was wondering if you’ve read Saint Margaret, Queen of the Scots: A Life in Perspective by Catherine Keene and what you think of it.
    Best wishes for your thesis
    John Hewison


    1. Hi John, thank you for following the blog and for your interest in my research. Tracing your ancestry all the way back to the late eleventh century is quite a feat; I’m sure that took quite some time! I’ve read Keene’s book, based on her PhD thesis, and I think that we needed to acknowledge the complex political, cultural and religious context for the sources on Margaret’s life. This is true not only of Turgot’s vita, but of all medieval sources which contain accounts about Margaret (and, of course, about Malcolm). Still, Keene’s approach is biographical so her aim is to reconstruct and re-evaluate Margaret’s life in light of a re-interpretation of the sources about her life. I think there is still more work to do on the sources themselves, from a historiographical and literary approach, and this is something that a PhD student at Birmingham is doing at the moment.

      Liked by 1 person

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