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Guy Mannering by Sir Walter Scott
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Not the adventuresome type of novel one usually associates with Scott, the era of castles and pitched battles is long past and the hero is bedeviled by smugglers and gypsies rather than religious fanatics or enemy knights. I enjoyed it.
  ritaer | Mar 1, 2014 |
Like The Bride of Lammermoor, this is a novel worth reading in spite of a totally preposterous storyline, simply because of the quality of Scott's writing. Just let all that business of astrologers, missing heirs and mysterious gypsy women drift by you and enjoy the magnificent detailing, the Galloway scenery, the incomparable Border farmer Dandie Dinmont, and a brilliant thumbnail sketch of Enlightenment Edinburgh.

(I read this a few years ago, but forgot to catalogue it at the time) ( )
  thorold | May 24, 2012 |
883 Guy Mannering, by Sir Walter Scott (read 11 Dec 1966) Faster than Waverley, I believe I read it more avidly . Full of plot, rather predictable, yet it catches one up. As one reflects, it seems silly--but during the telling this is not true. Gypsies, smugglers, lost heir, curses, etc., are the ingredients for an interest-filled tale: "The grey old towers of the ruin, partly entire, partly broken, here bearing the rusty weather-stains of ages, and there partially mantled with ivy, stretched along the verges of the dark rock which rose on Mannering's right hand. In his front was the quiet bay, whose little waves, crisping and sparkling to the moonbeams, rolled successively..."! ( )
  Schmerguls | Jan 21, 2010 |
The setting is the latter 18th century (post- '45). Mannering, an Oxford student, arrives in Scotland. He has been expertly tutored in astrology, a subject in which he only half believes. He is given hospitality at an old family seat, now in decline, and has the opportunity to predict events affecting the heir who is born on the day of his arrival. The book recounts those events.

The story is very engaging and I was sorry to finish it. It is not as moving as Heart of Midlothian or as historically charged as most of Scott's Scottish novels, but it has some of Scott's best characters: Paulus Pleydell, an advocate who is introduced to us in a tavern engaged in a drinking game ('Such, O Themis, were anciently the sports of thy Scottish children!'); Dandie Dinmont; who breeds terriers, all of whom are named either Pepper or Mustard; Dominie Sampson, an eccentric tutor (the reunion with his charge is not to be missed); and my personal favourite, Sir Robert Hazlewood, a pompous landowner who speaks in heavy, legal redundancies.

Scott's talent and resources as a writer are bottomless: that's the impression I took from this book.
2 vote messpots | Jan 2, 2009 |
More to Scott than Waverly ( )
  wordebeast | Jul 13, 2007 |
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'Tis said that words and signs have power
O'er sprites in planetary hour;
But scarce I praise their venturous part,
Who tamper with such dangerous art.
Lay of the Last Minstrel
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 014043657X, Paperback)

On the auspicious night that Guy Mannering is shown to the house of the Bertrams of Ellengowan, the Bertrams' heir is born, and Mannering, a skeptical astrologer, predicts the child's future. Five years later the prophecy is fulfilled, and the heir, Harry Bertram, becomes the center of a plot to rob the boy of his inheritance. Harry's subsequent struggles are set against a backdrop of chaos and upheaval in a socially fragmented Scotland where everyone, from landowners to gypsies, is searching for their rightful place.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:12 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Guy Mannering is an astrologer who only half-believes in his art. Instead he places his faith in patriarchal power, wealth and social position. But the Scotland of this novel is a nation in which the old hierarchies are breaking down and Guy must learn the limits of the nabob's authority in a society in which each social group - from gypsies and smugglers, to Edinburgh lawyers, landowners and Border store farmers - lives by its own laws.… (more)

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