Rob Roy

Rob Roy

by Walter Scott

An historical novel as gripping as Scott's Ivanhoe.

Soon to be released by United Artists as a major motion picture starring Liam Neeson, John Hurt, Jessica Lange and Tim Roth.

  • Series: Waverley Novels
  • Language: English
  • Category: Classics
  • Rating: 3.70
  • Pages: 501
  • Publish Date: April 6th 1995 by Penguin Classics
  • Isbn10: 0140435549
  • Isbn13: 9780140435542

What People Think about "Rob Roy"

Walter Scott has no business to write novels, especially good ones. 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). Now, you might presume that Rob Roy is the hero of this novel, after all the book has a title bearing his name. The dashing Rob Roy Franks father is a self-made man. Frank is shipped off to the ancestral Osbaldistone home to be exchanged for one of his cousins who will help with his fathers 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. Rob Roy shows up about half way through the novel, when Frank has to take a trip to Glasgow. It became kind of comical for me as the plot advances that at three different times she protests that Frank...must never see her again, but the daffy woman just keeps showing up. Helen MacGregor The description of the only other woman in the book is of Rob Roys wife, Helen. Robert Louis Stevenson, the author who made me fall in love with reading, has stated that Rob Roy was his favorite Walter Scott novel. As the plot advances or should I say when Rob Roy and his Highlanders show up, the pages start to turn faster. Though Andrews 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. 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.

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. At any rate, for my two cents, if you want to read Scott, read Ivanhoe -- skip this one.

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. 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, 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. 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. Scotts 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. The character of Rob Roy looms over the book, but he is not much in it until the last half.

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. As usual with Scott, the protagonist is rather colourless, the villain is a good deal more sympathetic and interesting, and earns his just desserts by the end.

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. I don't understand Scottish.

"Rob Roy" is my first Walter Scott novel, but I became a quick fan as I was entangled in his writing style, which focuses more on verbose and intricate language than it does on a straight-forward plot. 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. 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. 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.

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? That said this is described as one of Walter Scott's great Romances and deservedly so.

Scott created and popularized historical novels in a series called the Waverley Novels. In his novels Scott arranged the plots and characters so the reader enters into the lives of both great and ordinary people caught up in violent, dramatic changes in history. Central themes of many of Scott's novels are about conflicts between opposing cultures.