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Rob Roy
Sir Walter Scott
publisher: Querido, Amsterdam, 1817

refered to by:
Bleak House
Charles Dickens

Treasure Island
Robert Louis Stevenson

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Rob Roy is set against the backdrop of the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715, which aimed to restore the Stuart monarchy in the person of James Edward, the 'Old Pretender', son of the deposed James II. The tale is told in the first person by a young Englishman, Francis ('Frank') Osbaldistone. A would-be poet, Frank falls out with his father, William, due to his reluctance to enter the family business. Frank is sent north to Northumbria to stay with his Jacobite uncle, Sir Hildebrand Osbaldistone, and his place in William's counting house goes to Sir Hildebrand's scheming son Rashleigh. Frank falls in love with Sir Hildebrand's niece, Diana Vernon who lives in Osbaldistone Hall. Her father Sir Frederick, a proscribed Jacobite, lives there too in the guise of a monk, Father Vaughan. Sir Frederick has destined Diana for a convent unless she marries one of Sir Hildebrand's six sons. Diana, then, cannot listen to Frank's suit but, when Rashleigh flees to Scotland with vital financial documents, she assists him in his attempts to restore his father's honour and credit. Frank enlists the help of Bailie Nicol Jarvie, a Glasgow business correspondent of his father, and both proceed to the Highlands to bid Rob Roy, a political dependent of the Vernons, to intervene. Rashleigh is compelled to restore the company assets, and Frank returns to England where he is reconciled with his father. Meanwhile, the Jacobite rebellion breaks out. Sir Hildebrand's other five sons are all killed in the fighting, and he himself dies shortly afterwards of grief. Rashleigh, who has become an informer, is killed by Rob Roy during an attempt on Frank's life. Sir Frederick escapes to France, leaving Diana free to decide her future. The path is thus clear for Frank to inherit Osbaldistone Hall and marry Diana.

Critical response to Rob Roy was almost unanimously favourable. For his power of characterization, Scott was now frequently compared with Shakespeare, with particular praise reserved for Bailie Nicol Jarvie and Andrew Fairservice, Frank's shrewd but cowardly manservant. The only substantial complaint on this count came from Francis Jeffrey in the Edinburgh Review, who perceived improbabilities in Scott's portrayal of Diana Vernon. Her manners, maturity and firmness of character, he argued, were unlikely given the society she grew up in. Readers, however, were enchanted by her boldness and wit. The novel was a tremendous commercial success, the original print run of 10,000, a huge figure for the time, being bought up in two weeks.



Rob Roy
This novel is set in the north of England and Scotland in the years before, during and after the first Jacobite rising in 1715. Rob Roy is a swashbuckling chieftain of the clan MacGregor who is forced to become an outlaw for his alleged espousal of the Jacobite cause.
Quentin Durward
Quentin Durward is a young Scotsman seeking fame and fortune in the France of Louis XI in the 14th century. Walter Scott represents his ignorance and naivete as useful to 'the most sagacious prince of Europe' who needs servants motivated solely by the desire for coin and credit.
Ivanhoe, son of Cedric, of Saxon birth, loves Rowena, who traces her descent to King Alfred, and who returns his love. Cedric, who is devoted to the restoration of the Saxon line to the throne of England sees the chance of effecting this in the marriage of Rowena to Athelstane and banishes Ivanhoe.
The Talisman
This adventure, set in the Holy Land of Crusader fame, is a tale of Richard the Lionheart, of his noble knight Sir Kenneth of the Leopard (the prince royal of Scotland in disguise) and of the great Saracen ruler Saladin who fought the historical Richard to a standstill in Palestine.
The Tale of Old Mortality

The Bride of Lammermoor

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The Ledge
editor-in-chief: Stacey Knecht,
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