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Rob Roy by Sir Walter Scott
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Rob Roy (1817)

by Sir Walter Scott

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,911245,318 (3.45)1 / 160
  1. 10
    Michael Kohlhaas by Heinrich von Kleist (thorold)
    thorold: Rob Roy MacGregor and Michael Kohlhaas are both peaceful traders who turn to outlawry as a reaction to the abuse of feudal power. Scott certainly knew about Kleist's novella when he wrote Rob Roy.
  2. 00
    The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy (morryb)
  3. 00
    Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini (morryb)
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Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
Sixth of the series of "Waverley novels" by Walter Scott. This one is set in 1715/16 around the Jacobite unrest of the period. The protagonist is a young Englishman who comes into chance contact with Rob Roy on a trip to family in the far north of England. After some complicated plot twists, the hero is offered support by Rob Roy, while the hero sorts out family matters and while Rob Roy becomes aware that the rising has been doomed to failure. The content is fairly standard Walter Scott - a well crafted tale set in a plausibly detailed historic background with a lot of Scottishness thrown in. The standout feature, for me, is the character of the lead female - Di Vernon, who is feisty, smart, assertive and strong. A very pleasing addition. I know Scott was an early fan of Jane Austen, and he may have been influenced by her strong female leads. ( )
  mbmackay | Nov 19, 2018 |
Rob Roy, a novel by Sir Walter Scott, written in 1817 is a romance of real life. In this historical fiction, told by Frank Osbaldistone, the son of a wealthy businessman, ends up in Northern Scotland, vanquished by his father when he refused to go into business. He joins up with the outlaw, Rob Roy McGregor. Frank falls in love with Diane but she is off limits to him as she has to marry one of the sons of .... or go into a convent. Through this story of Diane, there is romance, secrets, suspense and tension.

I think that this novel was harder to enjoy than the author’s other 1001 list book. The story is interesting but the plot and structure make it difficult to engage. The audio was especially difficult because of some character brogue which was better read than listened to. I would definitely reread this, at a slower pace and read a book while I listen to it. I think the movie might be more interesting to most readers rather than the book and that is rare.

Penguin Classics, states, That Sir Walter Scott invented the historical novel. That must be why it is included in 1001 Books. Here is their description of the novel; rousing tale of skulduggery and highway robbery, villainy and nobility, treasonous plots and dramatic escapes—and young love. From London to the North of England to the Scottish Highlands, it follows the unjustly banished young merchant’s son Francis as he strives to out-maneuver the unscrupulous adventurer plotting to destroy him—and allies himself with the cunning, dangerous, and dashing outlaw Rob Roy MacGregor in a heroic effort to regain his rightful place and win the hand of the girl he loves. ( )
  Kristelh | Jul 16, 2018 |
There were a few set pieces in this that I liked, and the description of the library was a delight, but overall I found this worked best as an insomnia cure. I will try Scott again, though. ( )
1 vote JBD1 | Feb 11, 2018 |
It may come as a surprise, but the title character of Rob Roy doesn’t actually make an appearance in Walter Scott’s novel until almost halfway through the book. For the first half, the book should really be called “Francis Osbaldistone,” for that is who narrates the story and who is at the forefront of the adventure. Francis’s father, a banker, wants him to take up a position at the family firm, but Francis dreams of a more fulfilling (if less financially stable) life as a writer. He is then sent to the ancestral home of his uncle, Sir Hildebrand Osbaldistone, in Northumberland, while his cousin, Rashleigh, is sent to take his place in the bank. Soon after, Rashleigh is revealed to be a scheming embezzler and all-around jerk, and Francis must travel to Glasgow to restore the honour of the firm. His trip then lands him in the orbit of the famous Rob Roy MacGregor, the Robin Hood of Scotland, and that is where the story really picks up (at least for me, since Rob Roy was the reason I was reading in the first place).

This is the sort of book that demands attention. Its pace is measured but can be sprightly in places, particularly when Rob Roy is around and battle scenes are raging. The dialogue can be a bit tricky, given that a great deal of it is Scottish dialect, but most can be figured out in context. Some editions of this book include a glossary, should you require one; others may provide more detailed notes about the historical background and cultural references that Francis makes in his narrative (which arguably gave me more trouble than the dialect).

It contains moments that will raise a cheer, prompt a tear or even cause a fist to be raised in fury. It contains beautiful descriptions of Loch Lomond and the Scottish highlands that will whet the appetite for either photographs or a visit in person (the latter being highly recommended). It may also lead you to find out more about Scottish history. The book covers the period leading up to the First Jacobite Rebellion of 1715, so anyone with an interest in Culloden (1746) may do well to check out the events of a few decades prior.

This book is also recommended for those who have enjoyed other novels by Scott, and those who like Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson, which is also set in the Scottish highlands but covers events after Culloden. ( )
2 vote rabbitprincess | Dec 31, 2014 |
I will start by saying that I found the dialect that a lot of the conversation in the book really quite hard to get my head around. I'm still not entirely sure what some words were supposed to be indicating, but I think I got the gist of most of it. Having got that significant gripe out of the way, this is a strange book. Interesting, at times exciting, but framed as the reminiscences of an older man to a younger friend - and the framing occasionally interrupted the story. It is titled Rob Roy, proclaiming to be the story of Robert Macgregor, yet the story is told by Frank Osbaldistone and Rob Roy barely gets a look in over the last few chapters. Once you get over the slight self adsorption, it's a tale that's got it all - romance, mystery, disguised identity, trouble, danger, battles, redemption, a beautiful & spirited maiden, and irredeemable baddie, and an honest hero. It is always interesting to see how much of this creeps into cultural memory via other means, the tale felt slightly familiar, the shape of it at least, such is the times that it has been referenced in other works. The style of writing and particularly the dialect made this not an easy read, but it was a good read, and it did have me wanting to know how it would resolve itself. I have a fancy to read more Scott, having now read this and Ivanhoe, both of which have that air e=of excitement and derring do about them. ( )
  Helenliz | Oct 17, 2014 |
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Sir Walter Scottprimary authorall editionscalculated
Duncan, IanEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Was hab ich denn gesündigt, daß dies Unglück
So schwer auf mir liegt? Keine andren Söhne
Hab' ich, und der ist nicht mehr mein. Verflucht,
Wer sich so umgewandelt! - Du auf Reisen!
Bald will ich auch mein Pferd auf Reisen senden. (Monsieur Thomas)
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You have requested me, my dear friend, to bestow some of that leisure, with which Providence has blessed the decline of my life, in registering the hazards and difficulties which attended its commencement. The recollection of those adventures, as you are pleased to term them, has indeed left upon my mind a chequered and varied feeling of pleasure and of pain, mingled, I trust, with no slight gratitude and veneration to the Disposer of human events, who guided my early course through much risk and labour, that the ease with which he has blessed my prolonged life might seem softer from remembrance and contrast. Neither is it possible for me to doubt, what you have often affirmed, that the incidents which befell me among a people singularly primitive in their government and manners, have something interesting and attractive for those who love to hear an old man’s stories of a past age.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0140435549, Paperback)

This novel, first published in 1817, achieved a huge success and helped establish the historical novel as a literary form. In rich prose and vivid description, Rob Roy follows the adventures of a businessman's son, Frank Osbaldistone, who is sent to Scotland and finds himself drawn to the powerful, enigmatic figure of Rob Roy MacGregor, the romantic outlaw who fights for justice and dignity for the Scots. This is an incomparable portrait of the haunted Highlands and Scotland's glorious past.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:32 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

First pub 1817. Historical romantic adventure. Features Scotland's legendary highlander. Film adaption starrring Liam Neeson, Jessica Lange, John Hunt and Tim Roth, currently showing in Perth.

» see all 17 descriptions

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