Suzanne Moore's Reviews > Rob Roy

Rob Roy by Walter Scott
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Aug 27, 10

bookshelves: 1001-2006, 1001-2008, summer-challenge-picks
Read from July 06 to August 11, 2010

There were some interesting parts here, but overall, I did not enjoy the book. I admit I listened to it on audio rather than reading it. I actually listened to the entire book twice to pick up on the confusing parts a second time in hopes of understanding it better. The book was read in a heavy Scottish accent. At one point a character was mentioned that sounded like "Billy Graham." I thought what a coincidence! This book has the same name as the famous evangelist. Later I discovered the narrator was referring to “Baillie Grahame.” I wondered if this was another way of saying bailiff, and found online that Scottish barons often appointed a Baillie as their judicial officer.
The whole story revolved around Francis Osbaldistone, who is sent to live with his uncle, Sir Hildebrand, because he would rather write poetry than work as an accountant for his father’s business. At his uncle’s house he meets Diana Vernon who has been given residence at Osbaldistone Hall, when her father is forced into hiding. Diana’s father is sympathetic to the Jacobites. Now I don’t know much about the Jacobian uprising, but guessing from parts of the novel I could decipher, it was some sort of political movement. Diana is told that she will either marry one of Hildebrand’s sons or join a convent. One son, Rashleigh Hildebrand, expects to take Diana’s hand in marriage. But he is cruel and tries to manipulate Francis’s father, William, by stealing documents that would secure the financial status of the Osbaldistone fortune. Rob Roy McGregor is only briefly mentioned as an associate of Diana’s father. He is accused of taking from the rich and giving to the poor, sort of like Robin Hood. Of course, Rob Roy’s reputation is heroic to some and criminal to others. I got lost with the plot here and didn’t fully understand the connection between Francis and Rob Roy.
In the end, Francis marries Diana after a highland battle breaks out and the Hildebrand brothers are killed. Somehow Rob Roy is captured and I believe loses his life by execution. The story became vague as I tried to understand the dialect and meaning of many Scottish words. I think I’ll try to reread this one day and hopefully discover more meaning. I might have to research the Jacobites a bit, I’m sure it would help to know something about Scottish history to understand these character’s motives.
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