Andrew's Reviews > The Bride of Lammermoor

The Bride of Lammermoor by Walter Scott
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Aug 21, 08

Read in August, 2008

I read this book after working on the opera based on it which, it turns out, has relatively little to do with the novel after all. While the opera is boiled down to the story of two star-crossed lovers, the novel puts the lovers on the back-burner, preferring to concentrate its focus on creating a record of Scottish politics and daily life at the turn of the 18th century. This is evident in the care and detail Scott devotes to describing, say, hospitality rituals, about which he goes on and on. Contrasted to the very quick, to-the-point passages about the lovers themselves (including a resolution that, compared to the rest of the novel, moves at a lightning pace) it is very clear what the true intention here is.

For all that, it is a beautiful novel, in turns haunting and witty, and fascinating as a history piece. I highly suggest an annotated version, as Scott largely assumes the reader has at least a survey knowledge of Scottish Union politics, and large passages are written in thick 18th century Scottish dialect which, unless you're familiar with it, can be completely confounding.
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