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