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The Heart Of Midlothian (Tales of My Landlord #2)

3.70  ·  Rating Details  ·  859 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
'The Heart of Midlothian' presents the story of Jeanie Deans, a dairymaid who journeys to London to beg for a reprieve for her sister. Set in the 1730s, the novel dramatises different kinds of justice, including lynching by an Edinburgh mob.
Paperback, 583 pages
Published February 10th 1983 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1818)
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Werner
Feb 28, 2013 Werner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of 19th-century literature
Note, Feb. 28, 2013: On reflection, I decided that this book deserved the fifth star! I try not to be too prodigal with five star ratings; but here, I believe it's earned.

This book was on the reading list for a Univ. of Iowa correspondence course on the 19th-century British novel which I considered taking back in 1999; I never did, but by then I'd read the book and a couple of others for background reading. (I don't regret the read one bit!) For the last several months, I've tried to focus my us
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Henry Avila
The title of this book comes from the nickname of the prison in Edinburgh,Scotland(real name Toolbooth).Midlothian is the county surrounding that capital city.In 1736 there occurred a riot, in which Captain John Porteous of the police force,an arrogant man, was lynched by an angry mob( a real event).The captain had killed some townspeople, during a disturbance earlier.A smuggler Andrew Wilson was executed under his watch.His friends tried to rescue the criminal.The late Mr.Wilson became a hero w ...more
Aradia
I wonder why this book hasn't been made into a movie or TV series. It has everything a modern audience could ask for: premarital sex, birth drama, missing baby, legal proceedings (which would stir up a lot of pro-life/pro-choice debates today), there is highway robbery, religious bigotry, organized crime, an insane woman to offer comedic relief and some pity), false identities, suspected witch-craft, travel and adventure over the scenery of Scotland and England, a clash of cultures and classes.. ...more
Kim
"The Heart of Midlothian" is the seventh of Sir Walter Scott’s Waverley Novels. It was originally published in four volumes on July 25, 1818, under the title of "Tales of My Landlord", 2nd series, and the author was given as "Jedediah Cleishbotham, Schoolmaster and Parish-clerk of Gandercleugh". When the book was released it was even more popular than the book right before it, "Rob Roy", I read that too, I remember nothing about it. Sitting here thinking of the book, either this one or any other ...more
Ron
Mar 06, 2013 Ron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ron by: Werner Lind
Sense and Sensibility meets Perry Mason, "based on a true story."

Once the reader gathers enough skill to decipher the vernacular and stilted narratives and dialogue of that day, an enjoyable tale written early enough in the 19th century as to avoid the silliness of late-19th century Romanticism. The parallels to Jane Auten's work are many, especially the relationship of the wise and foolish sisters. Interestingly, Austen and Scott wrote almost simultaneously, yet his work seems more dated than h
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Cambusken
Aug 16, 2010 Cambusken rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought I would read this famous book as a sort of duty - like I shall one day read Ulysses. Other reviewers will be able to explain why, but I just found it an utter delight. Basically a road movie? but with tremendously vivid portrayals of the whole of Britain in the 18th Century, locks of macabre detail, great Gothic set pieces and an immensely sympathetic central figure. I think I learned that Scott is nothing like I thought he would be like. I dreaded the proclaimed "long introduction" bu ...more
Manuel Alfonseca
A good Walter Scott novel, loosely based on real facts. Jeanie Deans, the main character, can be considered (as C.S.Lewis remarked) one of the "perfect women" in literature. The novel slacks its pace between chapters 39 and 49, but rushes forth to a surprising ending in the last three chapters.
Czarny Pies
Feb 03, 2016 Czarny Pies rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Walter Scott
Recommended to Czarny by: Hans Christian Anderson
Shelves: english-lit
I am giving The Heart of the Mid-Lothian only three stars because it disappointed me. I read it because it has been considered by many as the great masterpiece of the most influential British Writer of the nineteenth century, Sir Walter Scott. I found it ultimately to be a mediocre novel despite its many stellar qualities.
However much we admire George Eliot and Jane Austen today, they had little impact on English literature in their time and absolutely none outside of the British Isles. Sir Walt
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Patricia
This was a reread. I read it first in my first year at university where it was one of the set books and it was one of the two novels I got rid of as soon as the year was finished. I can see why my seventeen year old self was impatient with the pious Jeannie Deans and her sanctimonious father but my older self is a bit more tolerant and I find their behaviours interesting rather than irritating. This edition has good introductions, appendices and notes and I made use of all of them. From the begi ...more
Isil
Sep 07, 2008 Isil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: litterature, xixe, ecosse
je suis encore tombée sous le charme de Walter Scott avec ce Cœur du Mid-Lothian qui évoque la prison d’Edimbourg à partir de l’histoire d’Effie et Jeanie Deans. Scott est un formidable conteur avec un style vigoureux qui sait vous tenir en haleine. C’est d’autant plus méritoire que l’héroïne de ce roman, Jeanie, n’est pas particulièrement «glamour», assez quelconque, austère, puritaine. Et pourtant, Scott parvient à la rendre attachante par une sorte de second degré permanent qui le pousse à se ...more
Greg Deane
Sir Walter Scott’s “The Heart of Midlothian” was in July 1818, as one of the Waverley novels. The novel's heroine is Jeanie Deans, sister of a filicide, Effie Deans. The plot was based on the story of another maternal filicide, whose sister, Helen Walker, had walked from Edinburgh to London to plead for a royal pardon. It is set in 1736, during the reign of George II. The matter was of wide interest at a time when many young woman would suffer ostracism for bearing children out of marriage, and ...more
Scott Cox
I won't be giving away the plot when I quote the last lines of this classic novel by Sir Walter Scott: "Reader - This tale will not be told in vain, if it shall be found to illustrate the great truth, that guilt, though it may attain temporal splendour, can never confer real happiness; that the evil consequences of our crimes long survive their commission, and, like the ghosts of the murdered, for ever haunt the steps of the malefactor; and that the paths of virtue, though seldom those of worldl ...more
Laura
Jul 01, 2010 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: Bettie
As Effie faces execution in prison, Jeanie decides to walk to London to plead for her sister's life. Available at BBC Radio 7.
Mikealynch
Oct 21, 2009 Mikealynch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
bartoline saddletree is a silly name
Chris
Most likely Scott's best work.
Bob
Jan 28, 2014 Bob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
Another of the Tales of My Landlord, Second Series, The Heart of Mid-Lothian is based on two historical incidents. The Porteous Riots in Edinburgh (1736) and a letter to Scott describing the case of a young woman who walked to London to obtain a kingly pardon for her sister who was unjustly accused of infanticide. Scott's tale is intricately woven; all of the characters are in some way connected with the riots. Effie Deans whose paramour is based on the rogue Gilbert Robertson who escapes during ...more
Milena March
How far would you go to save a sister's life? Would you tell a lie? How much would you sacrifice?

The Heart of Midlothian is a simple story which probably could have been several times shorter than it actually was; it essentially centres around a young woman called Jeanie Deans, whose half-sister is accused of child-murder and sentenced to death. Jeanie, unable to lie in a court of law to save her sister's life (a point which didn't quite sit with me, but more on that later), heads down the long
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Valerie
This is the Everyman edition, and does contain the Everyman motto: "Everyman, I will go with thee, and be thy guide, In thy most need be by thy side."

As always with classic works, edition matters. The copy I have is marked up by somebody apparently studying the book for a class. The usual warning not to read the prefatory material before reading the book applies. (Wish I'd followed it. This is the first Scott book I've read, and I really didn't need all the comparative stuff.)

There is a glossary
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Dara Salley
It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what I didn’t like about this story. The characters were sympathetic and well drawn. The premise, centering around the stories told about a Scottish prison, was interesting enough. Yet I found most of this book to be terribly boring. The long passages debating some past religious conflict in Scotland that I’ve never heard about didn’t help. It was pointed out in the introduction that the story is very similar to George Eliot’s book “Adam Bede”, which I read a f ...more
My Inner Shelf
Aug 05, 2008 My Inner Shelf rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classiques, victorien
Je ne regrette pas d’avoir persévéré dans ma découverte des œuvres de Walter Scott. Si les deux premiers romans m’ont plu (La fiancée de Lammermoor et Le nain noir), ils ne m’ont pas absolument captivée. Avec Le cœur du Mid-LOthian, on a le temps de plonger dans une époque, un pays, une histoire.

Scott s’est inspiré d’un fait réel pour bâtir son histoire. Le Capitaine John Porteous, capitaine des gardes de la cité d’Édimbourg ordonne à ses hommes de tirer sur la foule lors de l’exécution de contr
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Al
Apr 02, 2011 Al rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sir Walter Scott's fictionalized tale of a true story, in which Jeanie Deans, a Scottish maid of modest birth and pure heart, undertakes a journey to London to plead with the King for the life of her condemned sister, Effie. The story is a romantic and sometimes thrilling one, and along the way the reader becomes acquainted with Jeanie's family and others around her, some of whom are good and some not. Jeanie's common sense, determination, and true moral compass are the constants. In the end, i ...more
Sara
Feb 06, 2008 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Scottish historians, obsessive Walter Scott fans
Even for a Walter Scott novel, this takes a relatively high level of investment to get into. You'll plow through 2 chapters of preamble and 70 more pages of history before you finally get to meet one of Walter Scott's best characters ever, Jeanie Deans, the flawlessly honest,clear-sighted t and purpose-driven heroine who leaves her father's Scottish dairy farm to walk all the way to London in the hopes of petitioning the Queen to have her sister pardoned from a false conviction on child murder. ...more
Richard
Jan 21, 2016 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
Melodrama, historical document, political critique, satire, fairy tale, social comedy, morality play: Scott's seventh Waverley novel, often regarded as his masterpiece, takes in an impressive range of genres and modes, and entertains in pretty much all of them. It takes a while to get going, ends with a surprisingly uncompromising moral lesson, and the final quarter of the novel does slacken and test the reader's patience considerably. Despite these shortcomings, and the challenges of the Lowlan ...more
Jean Blackwood
Jan 02, 2013 Jean Blackwood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think it's time more modern readers discover Sir Walter Scott's great works. He has all the best attributes you find in Dickens and Hardy without being as maudlin as the former or as straining for credibility as the latter in his plotting. The Heart of Midlothian presents as strong and vital a female heroine in Jeanie Deans as any Austen novel ever offered. For those who are enamoured of all things Scot, as I am, Scott's portrayal of 18th century life there will provide a wonderful real-life p ...more
Luke Radke
Jul 18, 2015 Luke Radke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Four stars from me. this book is very good, and after reading a fifth of it I no longer had to look up the Geordie vocabulary whenever someone spoke. I really enjoyed the book it is a great story and an excellent read. However I found it a bit long in some parts and I was not a fan of the ending (epilogue or whatever you want to call it), I found t drawn out and almost painful.
Grace
May 14, 2012 Grace rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As all of Scott's works, The Heart of Midlothian was worth a read. :) I don't think it will rank as a favorite, but still, it was enjoyable, filled with interesting dialects, tidbits of history, vivid word pictures of Scotland's beauties, and, of course, a wonderful tale.

If you do not appreciate Scott's slow and descriptive style of telling his story, or if you have no wish to hear passages on the history of the Scottish church and religious/civil disturbances, this book may not be for you. But
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Mindy
Apr 07, 2009 Mindy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I distrusted this book from the beginning for purely superficial reasons: I hadn’t heard of it before, the name sounded weird, and it had lots of strange dialects upon a quick perusal of the pages. I can’t think of a time, however, when I did not thoroughly enjoy my reading session and look forward to reading more of Sir Walter Scott’s writings.

I also was surprised to find myself laughing throughout the first section of the book and beyond. I can’t remember when I laughed so much while reading.
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Sarah
Aug 13, 2012 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-reads
Dear Famous Author,
When someone writes you a letter that describes a moderately interesting event and suggests that you write a novel about it, and then you do write a novel about it, don't make the novel eternally long even though it covers the same ground as the letter's brief description of the event. And if you do do that, then don't publish the letter as a preface to the unnecessarily long novel, because then your readers will know for a fact (instead of just miserably suspecting) that a su
...more
Lena
Dec 10, 2015 Lena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting book. I loved the first 400-something pages, but then it dragged until right before the end where there was a spurt of action before it concluded. The protagonist irked me, as well. She struck me as rather 'holier-than-thou' and self-righteous, which drives me crazy. My favorite character was definitely Robertson, but even he grew dull as the book progressed. Honestly, I think it was just too long. A little trimming of unnecessary passages would have greatly improved it. Overall, I t ...more
Joel McDaniel
Sep 06, 2015 Joel McDaniel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my all-time favorites. Original feminism at its finest.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

Sir Walter Scott was born on August 15, 1771 in Edinburgh, Scotland. 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
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More about Walter Scott...

Other Books in the Series

Tales of My Landlord (7 books)
  • The Black Dwarf
  • Old Mortality
  • The Bride of Lammermoor
  • A Legend of Montrose
  • Count Robert of Paris: The Works of Sir Walter Scott
  • Castle Dangerous

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“Revenge, the sweetest morsel to the mouth that ever was cooked in hell.” 1301 likes
“The gaudy colouring with which she veiled her unhappiness afforded as little real comfort as the gay uniform of the soldier when it is drawn over his mortal wound.” 2 likes
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