“The Glasgow Herald’s” May 1857 Review of ‘Wallace: A Tragedy in Five Acts’

On Wednesday the 13th of May, 1857, The Glasgow Herald reviewed Wallace: A Tragedy in Five Acts, on page two. The work was published by Richard Griffin & Co., in Glasgow. The opening paragraph of the review comments:


“This tragedy, which comes from an anonymous author, is dedicated to the Earl of Elgin and the promoters of the Wallace Monument, being an individual contribution to that national object. Whatever be its destination and whoever its author, it is a dramatic work of no ordinary merit. Embodying the leading events in the life of Wallace, and foreshadowing the glorious destiny of Bruce, who himself is introduced on the scene towards the close of the career of Wallace, and opening of his own, in the bloody retribution dealt on Comyn, the tragedy is sufficiently replete with incident. We know not if the author had any view to the stage, but, in our opinion, it contains scenes which are sketched with no little dramatic force. It adheres to the historical outline handed down to us, while a marked individuality is imparted to the personages who figure on the scene. It is no epic poem in a dramatic guise, but a veritable and stirring drama, where the characters come before us and speak and act as befit the situations in which they are placed. The dialogue is therefore terse and nervous; the patriotic outbursts of Wallace and the heroic effusions of Bruce are couched in impassioned language. But the best test of the effect will be found in the ardent sympathy which we believe will be awakened in every generous Scottish bosom on finding Wallace and the gallant spirits who were destined to work out Scotland’s redemption thus presented vividly before them – Wallace confronted with the false Menteith, and Bruce with the as treacherous Comyn.”