Rob Roy, Paperback Book
3 out of 5 (3 ratings)


When young Francis Osbaldistone discovers that his vicious and scheming cousin Rashleigh has designs both on his father's business and his beloved Diana Vernon, he turns in desperation to Rob Roy for help.

Chieftain of the MacGregor clan, Rob Roy is a brave and fearless man, able and cunning.

But he is also an outlaw with a price on his head, and as he and Francis join forces to pursue Rashleigh, he is constantly aware that he, too, is being pursued - and could be captured at any moment.

Set on the eve of the 1715 Jacobite uprising, Rob Roy brilliantly evokes a Scotland on the verge of rebellion, blending historical fact and a novelist's imagination to create an incomparable portrait of intrigue, rivalry and romance.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • ISBN: 9780140435542

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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

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I read <i>Rob Roy</i> directly after <i>Waverley</i>, which doesn't make much sense historically (<i>Waverley</i> is set in 1745 and <i>Rob Roy</i> in 1715), but does provide an interesting contrast. At one level, they are both about young Englishmen who make friends with bare-kneed Scotsmen, get mixed up in Jacobite rebellions, and chase round the Scottish countryside feeling alternately Romantic and faintly foolish. <i>Rob Roy</i> is clearly a maturer novel than <i>Waverley</i>, more tightly structured and with a rather smaller cast, but Scott's use of a first-person narrator writing in an early-19th century version of mid-18th century English makes it feel somewhat heavier, even plodding in the early chapters, although this evens out later on as we (or Scott) get used to Frank Osbaldistone's voice.Rob Roy himself is presented as a sort of Scottish Michael Kohlhaas (Kleist's novella appeared in 1810) -- a cattle trader who sets out to take revenge after being ruined by an act of arbitrary aristocratic power. He comes and goes on the margins of Osbaldistone's story, extricating him from various difficulties. But Scott makes sure we remember that, good-hearted though Rob Roy is, he lives in a world of violence and disorder. The gruesome description of Helen MacGregor ordering the summary execution of Morris should be enough to jerk most readers out of the Scotch mist and back to the real world.As Antimuzak has said, the real underlying theme of <i>Rob Roy</i> is commerce as an organising, civilising force. Bailie Nicol Jarvie, middle-aged Glasgow businessman and magistrate, is the real hero of the story, a precursor of John Buchan's Dickson McCann. His sword has been rusted solid in its scabbard for years, but he represents the force of reason and stability that will ultimately come out on top. An unexpected bit of treasure is Diana Vernon. She can hunt, ride and shoot as well as any man, is intelligent, has been at least as well educated as Frank, and speaks her mind on all occasions, livening up what might otherwise be the rather dull opening part of the book considerably. Scott seems to have been a bit scared of her, from the way he gives her only a rather passive and transient role in the second half of the book. Interesting to remember that <i>Rob Roy</i> was published the year Jane Austen died.

Review by

Book review will be on in a comparative to another novel from that time period.

Review by

I will start by saying that I found the dialect that a lot of the conversation in the book really quite hard to get my head around. I'm still not entirely sure what some words were supposed to be indicating, but I think I got the gist of most of it. Having got that significant gripe out of the way, this is a strange book. Interesting, at times exciting, but framed as the reminiscences of an older man to a younger friend - and the framing occasionally interrupted the story. It is titled Rob Roy, proclaiming to be the story of Robert Macgregor, yet the story is told by Frank Osbaldistone and Rob Roy barely gets a look in over the last few chapters. Once you get over the slight self adsorption, it's a tale that's got it all - romance, mystery, disguised identity, trouble, danger, battles, redemption, a beautiful &amp; spirited maiden, and irredeemable baddie, and an honest hero. It is always interesting to see how much of this creeps into cultural memory via other means, the tale felt slightly familiar, the shape of it at least, such is the times that it has been referenced in other works. The style of writing and particularly the dialect made this not an easy read, but it was a good read, and it did have me wanting to know how it would resolve itself. I have a fancy to read more Scott, having now read this and Ivanhoe, both of which have that air e=of excitement and derring do about them.

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