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Catriona by Robert Louis Stevenson
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Jan 25, 2010

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bookshelves: fiction-mainstream
Read in January, 2010

23. Stevenson, Robert Louis. CATRIONA. (1893; this ed. 1988). ***. This novel by Stevenson is also known as “David Balfour,” and is the sequel to the previous “Kidnapped.” It’s a good thing that the author put in a synopsis of “Kidnapped,” because it’s been probably fifty years since I read it. It starts exactly where the previous novel leaves off, at 2:00p.m. on August 25, 1751, outside the British Linen Company in Edinburgh. The novel is in two parts. In the first part, David attempts to gain justice for James Stewart (James of the Glens) who has been arrested and charged with complicity in the Appin Murder. David presents his case to a lawyer and then goes on to meet the Lord Advocate to pursue the case of James’ innocence. His attempts at convincing the Lord are ineffectual and he is once again kidnapped and confined to Bass Rock, an island in the Firth of Forth. During that time, James is convicted and condemned to death. While in prison, David meets and falls in love with Catriona MacGregor Drummond, the daughter of James MacGregor Drummond, also known as James More. Catriona plans and engineers their escape from prison. The two later travel to Holland where David studies for his law degree at the University of Leyden. Catriona stays under David’s protection since she has no money of her own until her father joins them. It turns out that her father is a drunkard and lives off of David’s money. At about the same time, David discovers that his uncle, Ebenezer, has died. This means that David now comes into his full inheritance. There’s lots more confusion left, but the pair make it through and eventually get married and return to Scotland to raise their family. This novel is much less of a young-adult book than “Kidnapped,” and would be shunned by most of the younger generation of today. It took me a while to get into it – until more of the details of the previous novel came back to me. I’d recommend that if you want to read this one by Stevenson, you first re-read “Kidnapped.”
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