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Rob Roy Mass Market Paperback – March 1, 1995

39 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

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.


When I think of Rob Roy I am impatient with all other novels. -- Robert Louis Stevenson --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Signet Classics (April 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451526236
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451526236
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,588,062 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Zack Davisson HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 15, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a great Scottish novel, with all of the lovely scenery and steadfast heroes desired in this type of book. Even a bit of the Gaelic! I love the tragic character of Helen McGregor, and the classic brutal honor of Robert Roy.
The scottish scenary is a vital character. I read this book when I was living in Glasgow, and the descriptions of the city's early days were amazing. I also fell in love with Loch Lomand.
Modern readers be warned! This book was written in 1817, when attention spans were longer. The pace is slow, and the story takes awhile to unfold.
I was riveted by this book and I highly recommend it
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Leach HALL OF FAME on May 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
Sir Walter Scott is widely acknowledged as the creator of the historical fiction genre. His best known book is Ivanhoe, which I have not read. I instead decided to read Rob Roy, a book I became familiar with due to the 1995 movie of the same name starring Liam Neeson and Tim Roth. Rob Roy, written in 1817, takes us back in time to the 1715 Jacobite uprising.
Surprisingly, Rob Roy is not the main character of the book. Rob Roy's appearances in the book are spotty, at best. Instead, Francis Osbaldistone is both narrator and main character. Francis, we quickly find out, is more interested in poetry than in business. His father, who hoped for Francis to take over the family business, becomes angry with his son and banishes him to his brother's estate, Osbaldistone Hall. Francis's relatives are all country hicks, with the exception of Diana Vernon, an astonishingly beautiful "cousin" who stays with the Osbaldistones for reasons best left unrevealed here. Francis also encounters the treacherous Rashleigh Osbaldistone, the cousin who is to replace Francis at his father's business. Francis soon becomes embroiled in several adventures, usually with Scottish sidekick/groundskeeper Andrew Fairservice and Glasgow businessman Nicol Jarvie at his side. Needless to say, Francis falls in love with Diana Vernon and becomes entangled in the machinations of the Jacobite rebellion.
I found myself amazed at Scott's depictions of women in this book. Diana Vernon is not only beautiful; she's smart, self-assured, and a very dominant figure. Rob Roy's wife, Helen MacGregor, also is presented as strong and domineering. I find this fascinating in a novel written in the early 19th century. Even more surprising is Francis; he is depicted as weak and easily dominated.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Eric Franklin on July 9, 2002
Format: Paperback
Francis Osbaldistone forgoes a position in his father's firm to pursue an existence closer to his own ideals, travel and adventure. In order to even maintain a sufficent income from his father, however, he is sent on an errand to visit relatives in Northern England, and there to locate a replacement for himself in his father's firm from amongst his cousins. Due to a mishap on the road there, however, Francis is cast into a difficult legal situation and quickly learns that there are political and passionate motives behind his being unjustly accused.
This book really reads almost as if it it two different novels. The first half of the book concerns the time that Francis spends at Osbaldistone hall, where he learns that there are undisclosed secrets, some of which implicate him without his knowledge. It is also here that he falls head over heels in love with an unattainable woman. The tension that these scenes create is palpable and enjoyable. Scott is wonderful with English dialogue and his description of the English countryside, its inhabitants, and the activities that consume their day to day existence.
Somewhere along the way, however, the book shifts gears rather dramatically, merely echoing its previous sentimentality and thought. The book becomes more active and more of a travel narrative in Scotland, where a good deal of lawlessness occurs in the hills. Here you'll find the title elusive title character embroiled in his own local political intrigues while also endeavoring to support Francis in his own quest.
Scottish dialect, while faithfully recorded, makes the reading difficult, and at some times arduous. I did find, though, that if you read these phonetically, that you quickly attain the language necessary to follow along.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By nto62 on March 14, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Robert Louis Stevenson called "Rob Roy" Sir Walter Scott's finest achievement. I do not disagree. Set shortly after the unification of 1707, Scott tells the tale of the protestant Francis Osbaldistone as he bids adieu to his father's London commercial interests and enters, as an exile, the baronial home of his papist relations in the north. His cousin Rashleigh assumes the commercial role intended for Frank and uses his newfound access to stir loyalist feelings in the Scottish Highlands by ruining the far-flung credit of the Osbaldistone business. Frank, upon uncovering the conspiracy, sets forth to Glasgow with the mercurial gardner, Andrew Fairservice, as his guide to right the wrongs of the scheming Rashleigh. Ever dependent on the outlaw, Rob Roy MacGregor, to intervene in his behalf, Francis Osbaldistone leaps from one adventurous situation to another in his fight to clear his family name. Along the way, Frank meets and falls in love with the outspoken and beautiful Diana Vernon who aids him in his plight. Though a fair portion of this book is related in the Scottish vernacular, there is a glossary in the back of this edition that will easily point the way. Even so, the reader will confidently understand the vernacular when one-third through the book. This is a classic that can be enjoyed by anyone, particularly those interested in period and place.
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