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Rob Roy (Signet Classics) Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 2007
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But the outlaw, certainly the most interesting character in the tale, is only a side player so to speak, and makes a number of appearances, often in disguises (a favorite Scott motif), only to guide and/or rescue our blundering hero. This is most definitely not a tale of high adventure and derring do, and the complex and twisted intrigues of the plot do not sustain the book adequately.
For those who like period pieces or the works of the masters (and Scott was certainly one), this book might be okay. But this is one of those rare instances where the movie, based, at least on the face of it, on Scott's own preface to his book (in which he sketches out the life and times of the historical Rob Roy), is better.
And frankly the movie wasn't half bad; superior, in my view, to that other film of historical Scotland of the same production vintage Braveheart (Special Collector's Edition) with Mel Gibson. Oddly enough, the Rob Roy film (Rob Roy) did worse at the box office. Who can account for tastes?
But before meeting Diana or "Die," Frank returns to London from four years as an apprentice merchant on the Continent. His father, William Osbaldistone, destines Frank for a career prepping to be his successor. But Frank is a poet at heart and makes it clear that he will not serve.
In punishment, and to shape Frank up, his Protestant, pro-King George The First father ships Frank off to his younger brother Hildebrand -- Catholic, pro-The Old Pretender, James Stuart. Uncle Hildebrand's immensely learned, Jesuit-trained son Rashleigh is then invited to London to work for Frank's father.
Rashleigh's purpose is, however, evil: to rob his uncle in order to bring funds to Glasgow to help fund a planned 1715 invasion of Scotland by the exiled Old Pretender.
Meanwhile, young Frank Osbaldistone, residing in relative idleness and ease with his uncle and his five remaining loutish cousins in Osbaldistone Hall, has fallen for a fair niece of Uncle Hildebrand's deceased wife, 18 year old Diana Vernon.
By her father's will, Diana must either marry one of her cousins or join a nunnery. She is also very active in the 1715 plot to bring James Stuart back as the rightful King.Read more ›