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An Historical Novel As Gripping As Scott S Ivanhoe It Is A Tale Of Adventure In The Th Century, Set In The Scottish Highlands, Whose Hero Is The Legendary Maverick Outlaw Rob Roy Macgregor Soon To Be Released By United Artists As A Major Motion Picture Starring Liam Neeson, John Hurt, Jessica Lange And Tim Roth Included Also In The Pages Author S Introduction, Notes, Glossary


10 thoughts on “Rob Roy

  1. says:

    No truth in plaids, no faith in tartan trews,Camelion like, they change a thousand hues I remember when I was taking a Jane Austen survey class in college that while doing some research I came across this great quote she wrote about Walter Scott as a novelist Walter Scott has no business to write novels, especially good ones It is not fair He has fame and profit enough as a poet, and should not be taking the bread out of other people s mouths I do not like him, and do not mean to like Waverley if I can help it but fear I must Now when I shared the quote with the class, as part of my attempt to verbally contribute to discussion, it went over like a lead balloon It took me a few seconds to realize that no one knew who Walter Scott was, except for the professor who luckily bailed me out by explaining that Scott wrote the book that inspired the movie Rob Roy 1995 I ve always liked that quote because it is a bit flirty and full of mock indignation If I were Scott and I heard that quote, I d have a little grin on my face for at least an afternoon Now, you might presume that Rob Roy is the hero of this novel, after all the book has a title bearing his name You would be mistaken The hero of this tale is none other than Frank Osbaldistone This name does not inspire thoughts of a dashing or romantic figure The name alone might keep a woman from thinking him marriageable material He has another problem, though hethinkshe is a poet Few can be a Walter Scott or a Lord Byron, capable of writing poetry well enough to exchange verse for shillings in quantities sizeable enough to keep one in food and shelter The dashing Rob RoyFrank s father is a self made man He has built a merchant empire from the sweat of his brow and by deftly managing his money He wants Frank to learn the business with the thought that he will eventually take over Frank is brimming with poetic verse He can t imagine himself shackled to the life of a merchant There are words Blippity blip ungrateful kid blippity blip dab blast it Frank is shipped off to the ancestral Osbaldistone home to be exchanged for one of his cousins who will help with his father s business Many will think it is admirable that Frank decided to follow his passions, while all I wanted to do was give him a good shake If I d known the extent of the trouble his decision was going to cause, I would have turned that shake into a full on strangle In Northumberland, he meets the Scotsman Andrew Fairservice who becomes his less than loyal companion Andrew is incapable of giving anything resembling fair service He is a fool and, worse, a coward He does add some spice to the novel with his Scottish brogue Now, sir, it s as muckle as your life s worth that wad be dear o little siller to be sure but it is muckle as a our lives are worth, if ye dinna mind what I say to ye In this public whar we are gaun to, and whar it is like we may hae to stay a night, men o a clans and kindred Hieland, and Lawland tak up their quarters And whiles three are mair drawn dirks than open Bibles amang them when the usquebaugh gets uppermost See ye neither meddle nor mak, nor gie nae offence wi that clavering tongue o yours, but keep a calm sough, and let ilka cock fight his ain battle Frank s cousin Rashleigh is the most like Frank among his relations He reads He can recognize a sonnet when he see it He is, unfortunately, odiously ambitious He is one of those men who could use his extraordinary brain to help so many others, but chooses through malicious gossip, nefarious underhanded deals, and political intrigue to raise himself up at the expense of others He is a perfectly conceived villain who readers take pleasure in rooting against Rob Roy shows up about half way through the novel, when Frank has to take a trip to Glasgow He is the man going PSST from behind the church pillar or the disembodied voice from the bushes, who continues to offer cryptic, incomplete advice to Frank The beautiful Diana Vernon, another cousin of Frank, is the love interest She is mysteriously unattainable due to obligations previously arranged by her father It became kind of comical for me as the plot advances that at three different times she protests that Frankmust never see her again, but the daffy woman just keeps showing up Helen MacGregorThe description of the only other woman in the book is of Rob Roy s wife, Helen I thought, in a few sentences, Scott gave me a complete, majestic picture of the woman She might be between the term of forty and fifty years, and had a countenance which must once have been of a masculine cast of beauty though now, imprinted with deep lines by exposure to rough weather, and perhaps by the wasting influence of grief and passion, its features were only strong, harsh, and expressive She wore her plaid, not drawn around her head and shoulders, as is the fashion of women in Scotland, but disposed around her body as Highland soldiers wear theirs She had a man s bonnet, with a feather in it, an unsheathed sword in her hand, and a pair of pistols at her girdle She was a woman not to be trifled with.Robert Louis Stevenson, the author who made me fall in love with reading, has stated that Rob Roy was his favorite Walter Scott novel I m not sure, given his recommendation, what has taken me so long to read the book Scott gets a hard knock for being difficult to read, but after a few chapters, I found the rhythm of the book As the plot advances or should I say when Rob Roy and his Highlanders show up, the pages start to turn faster Though Andrew s speeches look like gobblygook, if you sound them out the English words, lost from easy comprehension due to the missing letters, they start to shimmer into readable sentences The edition I had included a handy glossary defining words not readily known in English I found this extremely useful This book is best read under the slight influence of usquebaugh, but keep your dirk planted upright in the table near to hand, in case any lowlanders decide to make free with their mouths Those bloody bastards don t understand Honour is what no man can give you, and none can take away Honour is a man s gift to himself And don t let anyoneever step on yer tartan If you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit also have a Facebook blogger page at


  2. says:

    The protagonist in Rob Roy is Francis Osbaldistone not the title character Makes a better name,Roy Francis a spoiled son of a rich London businessman,who would rather write poetry than work for his father.Sent to his uncle s estate as punishment in northern England,bordering simmering Scotland.He soon becomes involved in a feud with his cousin Rashleigh youngest and smartest of six brothers.A woman Diana is the main reason isn t it always.This being 1715 a revolt soon brakes out, Rashleigh steals important papers from Francis s father He took over our hero s job If they aren t recovered, the family will be ruined Osbaldistone finally wakes up and seeks the help of Rob Roy Remember him He is a notorious outlaw The bloody the English love that word conclusion occurs at Osbaldistone Hall.


  3. says:

    This book was death And it wouldn t end I just could not get past the language in two ways 1 Get to the point Sir Walter Scott apparently decided that there is no reason to use one word when five will suffice For instance, rather than saying that a character was hungry because he ate lunch earlier than usual Scott notes instead that the character was hungry because he had ante dated his meridian repast, having dined at twelve instead of one o clock, then the general hour of dining Honestly, reading this book was like listening to a preacher describe prom you may get the story, but not the way you want to hear it 2 Scottish isn t English I had high hopes that my Scottish blood would somehow instill in me to the ability to understand what in the world the Scottish characters were saying No such luck It s no fun to read a book in which half the dialogue looks like it was typed by a pre schooler.At any rate, for my two cents, if you want to read Scott, read Ivanhoe skip this one.


  4. says:

    Walter Scott s most popular book along with Ivanhoe and the reason for this I think is obvious, especially to those who like me have read than two books of his Not that his other books are less good, and that this book is so much exceptional, is just that all the elements that make the great writer s books stand out, his romanticism, his witty writing, the alternation of funny and dramatic moments, the creation of distinctive characters, the restrained emotional tension, his distinct look at people s thoughts and attitudes are present here in their clearest form, both in the field of creating an exciting story as in the ideas he tries to express.The hero of our story who is not Rob Roy is the son of a merchant, the descendant of an aristocratic Catholic family though he is a Protestant himself After years of studying, he is called upon to take over the family business but his romantic soul makes him look with aversion the possibility to go through the rest of his life with numbers and products and refuses this position believing he can make a career in literature and poetry His father, believing that this is just an impulse, sends him to spend a while with his brother s family in North England, where everything is all the opposite of thing he was accustomed to From the busy London of trade and Protestant rigour, he is transported to the quiet countryside dominated by less useful occupations such as hunting, relaxed mood and the rhythms of the old religion There he meets two people whose contribution will turn out to be decisive the beautiful, charming, witty and fascinating Diana not at all a random choice the name and his intelligent, ambitious and particularly suspect cousin The unconventional Diana that combines all the ingredients of feminine charm with an almost masculine passion moves the hero s interest and love does not lag behind, but the things that separates them is too much with most of their derive from her loyalty in the Catholic religion and so this love does not seem to have a prospect, which causes him great sorrow Accordingly, his cousin moves his interest with his deepest education, but he quickly begins to suspect that behind this mask are hidden many bad things and quickly these suspicions are confirmed and the troubles begin.These troubles eventually lead him to the deeply divided Scotland of the era just before the 1715 Jacobite uprising This division extends to many issues such as religion, the relationship with England, the way of governance, and many that shows a great mentality difference The division between the Lowlands of strict Protestantism, close relationship with England, modern, strong central government and extroversion, and the Highlands of Catholicism, independence and traditional power relations are than obvious, and the controversy over the British throne make the explosion inevitable Throughout this, our hero tries to solve his own affairs with the help of the legendary Highland outlaw Rob Roy MacGregor This journey into the wild and romantic landscape of the Highlands and the familiarity with the unusual lifestyle of the region that is threatened is the best part of this book and complements it ideally, driving the story to the most exciting and passionate routes and the very moving ending.From what I write you understand that the author does not change his very successful recipe, with a story that has much in common with the previous books, sharing the same background What is changing is the way he is using this recipe, choosing the most direct and straightforward approach that was aiming directly at the heart of the reader The author leaves his romanticism free, is carried away with his love for the natural scenery of Scotland and North England, and carrying us with him, is inspired by the power of love, gets nostalgic for a emotional era where people loved and fought with the same intensity and in the end warns of the coming of an era when the cowardice and selfishness are its main features With all this, how can I not love this book Walter Scott , , , , , , , , , Rob Roy , , , , , Diana , Diana , , , , 1715 , , Lowlands , , Highlands , Highlands Rob Roy MacGregor Highlands , , , , , , , .


  5. says:

    First a warning the movie Rob Roy has little to do with the novel Rob Roy, except that they share the titular character I was 250 pages into this book before I finally realized this was the case I wouldn t want the rest of you to make a similar error The story is a bit complicated The book jacket says this is a tale set in the Jacobite Uprising of 1715, which sounds exciting, but is true only to the extent necessary to sell this book to you The plot is much subtle than that The hero is not Rob Roy, but young Francis Osbaldistone wha , the callow son of a London tycoon merchant whose business is what we would now describe as import export Dad has been trying to teach Francis the family business, but exiles his son to northern England after discovering that Francis has been writing poetry Francis is sent to live at Osbaldistone Hall with his drunk uncle, 5 drunk cousins, and the uncle s beautiful yet mysterious ward Diana Vernon Francis sinister cousin Rashleigh goes to take Francis place at the family firm Rashleigh steals some bills of lading and absconds with them to Scotland where he hopes the resulting credit crunch will lead to armed insurrection and chaos note how this plot manages to be torn from the headlines of two eras Francis, eager to prove himself to his father, follows Rashleigh into Scotland, where he eventually falls into the hands of Rob Roy, the Scottish version of Robin Hood After a lot of running around among the Moors and Highlands, everyone lives happily ever after The virtues of this novel are immediately apparent Scott s descriptions of the book s settings whether a London counting house, a musty library, an underground church, downtown Glasgow, an isolated loch, a smokey tavern, etc are simply masterful and, I would say, some of the best descriptive writing I have ever read Only Dostoyevsky and George Eliot are on the same level The characters are also masterfully developed, with each character having a quirk or a quality that makes them vivid and three dimensional The love interest, Diana Vernon, is one of the great female characters in English literature a beautiful intellectual with a mysterious past and a penchant for secret plotting, and a skilled horsewoman to boot Scott s tone gives this book a moral depth that is rare in literature Even the death of the book s most obnoxious character is treated as a mini tragedy The real triumph of this book is Scott s description of Scotland, which was, in 1715, a wild and chaotic land interestingly, my research on the Internet indicates that Scott s readers considered the Scots to be equivalent to American Indians Much of this book is a travelogue of Scotland with plenty of descriptions of Scottish religious practice, clans, social customs, and even clothes and weaponry There is also an extended sequence in Glasgow Scott s descriptions of the Scottish landscape add immeasurably to the tone of menace and mystery that the entire book is shrouded in from beginning to end His rendering of Scottish dialect is also excellent One imagines a young William Faulkner getting some of his ideas about dialogue from Scott s example The book has some weaknesses For one thing who foments a rebellion in Scotland by stealing some shipping papers in London It seems like a roundabout way to bring about the Jacobite Rebellion that is the book s main plot point The plot itself develops slowly the first 200 pages could be described as expository , and then finishes in a rush of multiple denouements The character of Rob Roy looms over the book, but he is not much in it until the last half More often then not, he spends his time giving speeches justifying his life as an outlaw, which probably seemed very important to Scott, but doesn t resonate much in the 21st century Of course, none of this should stop you from reading this book, or any others by Scott He is one of the earliest novelists whose books can still be read for pleasure, and Rob Roy is one of his good ones.


  6. says:

    The Wikipedia article for this book describes part of the plot as In between hours in the library with Die, he converses with Andrew Fairservice and learns much about goings on at the Hall It does feel like hours, even when reading The characters discuss politics, the situation, love, life, business, etc At great length.As usual with Scott, the protagonist is rather colourless, the villain is a good deal sympathetic and interesting, and earns his just desserts by the end Hoping these desserts would be tastier than Scott usually tends towards, you will be severely disappointed.Really, the main problem with the book is that it is rather dull There is a good chance that I simply overwhelmed myself with too much Victoriana lately, but it was almost a chore to plough through, and the heavy uninterpreted Scottish really didn t help matters Realistic Yes Incomprehensible Also yet I kept wondering whether I had missed something pertinent to plot, but I really should have known better.


  7. says:

    To say the truth this book is a bit difficult to read as the plot takes shape pretty slowly and the complex ways in which Sir Walter Scott narrates the tale adds to the difficulty The Scottish dialect which the book uses also will take a bit of time to get used to But still i enjoyed reading this book very much as it narrates the characters with so much vigor and attitude, the lush scenery and surroundings of the Scotland with such clarity and tells a fascinating tale of romance and adventure.


  8. says:

    This was very well narrated, but not very interesting The story is mostly about Frank, a young man who is raised with too much money He s sent to the ancestral estates near the Scottish border where he gets into a bit of a mess which takes him into Scotland That s about halfway through where I got lost simply because the narration was so good Scottish is absolutely incomprehensible You d think with my good Scottish name I d understand it Nope I was born in the USA I don t understand Scottish It sounds like someone stuffed 200 year old English English tough enough to understand into a garbage disposal which then regurgitated it while being beat by a stick Even when we share common words, they re tough to decipher, but they also have enough of their own to require a glossary in the back of the printed edition That probably would have been a better format for this story, but I don t know if I would have finished it then, either.I tried, but Rob Roy barely made any appearances it just wasn t worth the effort I was over halfway through the action was really picking up, but I just kept missing too much due to the language barrier.It s a shame I really liked Ivanhoe Tales of a Grandfather This just wasn t in the same class.


  9. says:

    Rob Roy is my first Walter Scott novel, but I became a quick fan as I was entangled in his writing style, which focuses on verbose and intricate language than it does on a straight forward plot I m sure this style would be a turn off to many readers, but it was right up my alley The descriptions are lush when they need to be, the character development is spelled out rather bluntly, and much of the dialogue requires far effort to decipher than I m used to making out the Highland dialect was tricky at first, but I got the hang of it , but the grammatical gymnastics Scott employs to complicatedly convey simple ideas had me in a constant state of giddyness.Now, full disclosure I m certain there are two factors that influenced my enjoyment of the novel toward the positive.1 I read the beginning of this novel while I was in Scotland, even spending one morning reading a few chapters while sitting on the bank of Loch Ness, which is rather similar scenery to the setting of a significant chunk of Rob Roy I also traveled around the in the Highlands while there, so when the novel s protaganist, Francis Osbaldistone, heads north to save the family business, Scott s descriptions rang very vividly in my mind.2 While in Scotland, I purchased the first four volumes of a collection of Scott s works from a bookshop in Inverness The volumes were published in 1862, which make them the oldest and coolest books in my personal library They re not the kind of books you carry around with you and read in your spare time, so I didn t really buy them for reading But just for kicks, I read the final two chapters from one of those volumes I don t know if anyone thinks that s as interesting as I do, but reading from a book published just 30 years after the author s death, and published in his hometown of Edinburgh, nonetheless, tickled my inner historian.As for the story specifically, it read like a less self consiously humerous Charles Dickens novel Many colorful supporting characters drawn from the fringes of society interesting insights into the societal divide between cultures a hero who seems along for the ride than the driving force behind the plot.Indeed, the hero, Francis Osbaldistone, is a surprising one, considering the title of the novel Rob Roy does show up, mind you, but doesn t really make a big splash until almost the half way point And when he does show up, its merely to highjack the story away from Francis s quest to retrieve some stolen documents vital to his father s business But I suppose stealing the spotlight is completely in character for Rob Roy MacGregor, who pulls Francis into some historically based skirmishes related to the first Jacobite uprising in 1715.And on a rather important sidenote prior to visiting Scotland, I read up on the country s history, and being familiar with the Stewart Hanover fued and the various Jacobian revolutions certainly made parts of Rob Roy easier to follow, as the fates of Francis and MacGregor both hinge on the shifting alliances of the Highland clans and the Osbaldistone family and the locals, both British and Scottish.Alongside all of that there is a romance and inner family treachery and exciting battles, but again, its the language itself that kept me excited to turn to the next page.I feel that in the future, one of Scott s Waverly novels is where I ll eagerly turn if I d like to visit again the Scotland that I ve now visited and read about.


  10. says:

    This wasn t quite what I was expecting I ve given it four stars as I really like Walter Scott and I enjoyed the style However Rob Roy himself is a marginal character It is through Frances eyes we see the story and I found him to be a bland and not especially engaging character His observations on other people were acute and well delineated but when it came to himself, he was far less insightful His clumsy courtship of Diana Vernon was only interesting because she was interesting and it was hard not feel that she had been shoe horned in for no other reason than to act as a romantic interest for Frances Frances was such an unlikely Romantic hero that every time he said something along the lines of I reached for my sword my immediate thought was Where did he get a sword Can he actually use a sword He ll just hurt himself Surely he d be better off running away Which sums up how I felt about the narrator in a nut shell That said this is described as one of Walter Scott s great Romances and deservedly so He did after all create the entire genre and this is a good example of it Not one of my favourites, however this still has much to recommend it not least of which Scott s beautiful descriptions of the landscape and of a time now lost.