S. Goodsir Smith
Bust by Denis Peploe ARSA
|Sydney Goodsir Smith was born
in New Zealand in 1915. He first came to Edinburgh in 1927, and lived there much of the
time thereafter. He was educated at the Universities of Edinburgh and Oxford.
As a writer he was always closely associated with the Scots Renaissance, the
literary movement founded by Hugh McDairmid soon after the Great War.
Originally best known as a poet, The Wallace was the first of his plays to
be performed and published. It was broadcast on the BBC Scottish Service on 30th November
1959, and presented at the Assembly Hall in Edinburgh at the 1960 International Festival.
|"The story of
Wallace," wrote Robert Burns, "poured a Scottish prejudice in my veins that will
boil along there till the floodgates of life shut in eternal rest."
Sydney Goodsir Smith believed that a playwright must be first and foremost a
storyteller; and in this stirring heroic drama he tells "How glorious Wallace stood,
how hapless fell," but how, in the end, he triumphed over the renegade Scots Lords
who had failed him at the Battle of Falkirk, the "fause Menteith," and
Edward I of England, "Hammer of the Scots".