Oram R (2012) Alexander II, King of Scots 1214-1249. Edinburgh: Birlinn Ltd. http://www.birlinn.co.uk/Alexander-II-King-of-Scots-1214-1249-9781904607922.html
By equal measure state-builder and political unifier and ruthless opportunist and bloody-handed aggressor, Alexander II has been praised or vilified by past historians but has rarely been viewed in the round. This book explores the king’s successes and failures, offering a fresh assessment of his contribution to the making of Scotland as a nation. Extending beyond the political narrative, it examines aspects of the king’s character and his relationships with those around him, especially his mother Queen Ermengarde, first wife Joan Plantagenet, and the magnates, clerics and officials who served or opposed him. The volume illustrates the processes by which the mosaic of petty principalities and rival power-bases that covered the map of late 12th-century Scotland had become by the mid-13th century a unified state with a national monarch, hybrid in culture(s) and multilingual but acknowledging a common identity as Scots.
Alexander II; Scotland; Anglo-Scottish relations; piety; religion; Scoto-Papal relations; state-building; religious reform; patronage; material culture; literary culture; political community