Rob Roy

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Rob Roy

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Editado: Jul 24, 2017, 2:16am

I have just ventured to render this notable work its first airing. As a rule I took it upon myself to read the introduction (Folio Society ed.). I normally decide against this tact as a cardinal folly, but given my reading of Waverley finished today, and on reading the postscript that should have been the preface, I took some advice from the Abbotsford Argonaut and broke the rule. I discovered that during the whole writing of this work, that Sir Walter Scott, good gentleman that he was, encumbered by dogged acute and chronic pain only made bearable by opiates, managed to pull off such a work that sold out its first print run of 10,000 copies in just a fortnight.

Fev 13, 2014, 11:21pm

I have been reading this for a few days now and Scott, like in other novels, takes time to set the scene. In fact our hero, Mr Francis Osbaldstone, has yet to make it into Scotland which sought me to check the title of the work I had in my hands! But I jest a little, as the editor's introduction warned that this had been a contentious part of the critics' reception of the novel. I find these lengthy ambulatories rather pleasant. I like to be informed about the period and the customs in which the novel is set, rather than be misled perhaps by my own ignorance, where the author has credited me with more intelligence and knowledge of the world than I hold.

Fev 17, 2014, 4:10am

I read Rob Roy in short order, close after my recent return to Waverley. Rob Roy is certainly enjoyable and has some parallels with the latter novel: an Englishman for a hero, somewhat of a romantic youth, well bred and not pressed for want, but naïve in much of the Northern aspects of the island. This is my first reading of Rob Roy and although I thoroughly enjoyed it and was engrossed with the characters and plot, my preliminary judgment is marked by two matters. The first is the extensive time allotted to describing characters such as Di Vernon and Rashleigh Odbaldstone, who then with so much investment afforded to them, fade into the background for all but much of the novel, though the climax brings the characters and scene to a close. The second is the number of seemingly improbable chance happenings or coincidences that are so profound yet not wholly acted out. The meeting of Di and Francis in the Highlands is one such incident.
Nonetheless Scott brings it all off and the narrator does allude to at least one chance happening as being otherwise he tells his tale.
All in all, I really enjoyed this, so much more for the geographical emphasis on Glasgow and the Trossachs rather than of Edinburgh which is much used by Scottish novelists in preference of the Western city.

Fev 20, 2014, 12:19am

Rob Roy was my first foray into Sir Walter's novels. If found that my namesake's perambulations gave me time to adjust to the language (and get a reasonable accent working in my head) before everything started to go pear-shaped for our hero. It also gave me time to discover the Scots-English glossary in the back. Now I look for one before reading anything by Scott.

I won't recommend Scott to anyone unless I already know that they enjoy well written and extensive setting and character development.

Waverley is on my to-read list again. Now that you've tickled my memory a bit, I guess I'll have to add Rob Roy to the list as well.


Fev 20, 2014, 7:03pm


I won't recommend Scott to anyone unless I already know that they enjoy well written and extensive setting and character development.

That may be a worthwhile point. It is however lamentable that we perceive that now as something that can only be attempted by the seasoned reader. I think it tells us something about the state of literature and how much people read now when faced with so many instant gratification and ephemeral distractions. And of course with Scott, gratification comes later but is well earned and comes with lasting quality.

Fev 24, 2014, 12:18pm

Bingo! I've wondered why I prefer pre-20th century novels to current works and I think it is the time taken to set things up. The editions of Scott I've been reading are divided into volumes, much the way they were originally published as folios. I find without exception the first volume sets everything up, including political, religious, and geographic contexts, as well as introducing the players and their backgrounds. The second volume is where Scott generally gets down to business with the story. I love the long, slow startup for all its descriptive power. Modern writers could learn a thing or two on how to tell a story from these older authors.

Fev 24, 2014, 8:41pm

> 6

I see the preliminary Scott chapters as always an investment that pays off handsomely by the end.

Jul 11, 2017, 3:44pm

Mensagem removida pelo autor.

Jul 11, 2017, 8:02pm

>8 EclecticIndulgence:

Just keep going. Don't treat it as a philosophical text that requires stops and thoughts before moving on. Scott is a great writer and you will quickly get in the stride of things. Also remember that he was likewise the master of context: everything Scott wrote was written with his eye on the reader - what they knew of the the time, place and characters of the novel. He doesn't let you guess. In fact Scott's introductions, lengthy as they are, are some of the best history lessons I have ever taken.

Jul 23, 2017, 8:01pm

Mensagem removida pelo autor.

Jul 24, 2017, 2:30am

>10 EclecticIndulgence:

Ah ok. I'm not sure what to say other than to enjoin you to persevere. Rob Roy deserves all the accolades it has received and I'm sure you shall get into the swing of things.

If you have read through this thread in its entirety, it might worth be a couple of minutes well spent for some of the points made above by >4 Osbaldistone: and >6 geneg: go to the nub of reading and enjoying Scott.

Believe me, when you come to one mind with Scott, you see before you a richly adorned literary treasure chest, brimming with a lifetime of reading pleasure.

One final point I'd like to make to encourage you to stick with Rob Roy and Scott in general. His works are full of wisdom and thematically they are evergreen and have stood the test of time, like Shakespeare. There has not been one story where I have not coloured to recognise a particular past folly of my own, skillfully laid bare by this mighty author. Whether you prefer stories on Romance, Treachery, Justice, Inheritance, Patriotism etc, Scott has examined and made great tales of them all.