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Rob Roy by Sir Walter Scott


Project Gutenberg's Rob Roy, Complete, by Sir Walter Scott
Here is a complete copy of Rob Roy by Sir Walter Scott. Although the novel is now two hundred years old and written for a middle/upper class leisured readership which no longer exists, I believe it is still of interest. My first thoughts on reading this novel - many years ago now - is that it should have been entitled "the Adventures of Frank Osbaldistone" rather than "Rob Roy". Indeed, the eponymous MacGregor does not appear as himself until chapter 11 of volume ii!, although as alias Campbell we find him in volume i, chapter 4, 9 and 10. The action of the plot does not even reach Scotland until Frank Osbaldistone goes to Glasgow at the start of volume ii.

As well as the conversational verbosity and classical references which few modern readers can appreciate, its length can be off-putting. In this edition, including the introduction and notes, it runs to 194,000 words.

It has to be remembered that Scott was writing for his paymasters - the new leisured reading public in England, who probably viewed Rob Roy in the same way as we might consider hunter-gatherers in the Andaman Islands! Despite the opening of the Highlands following the devastation of the post-1745 military occupation, with the published tour diaries of Boswell & Johnson among others, the Highlands of Scotland remained in Scott's time an exotic, uncomfortable and possibly still dangerous place to visit. The context of the novel is a hundred years earlier, just before the 1715 Rising, when Gaelic-speaking armed Jacobites were perceived as a real threat to the Whiggish Hanoverian state.

Today's interest in this novel lies in the research which Scott carried out with personal visits to the Trossachs and Balquhidder, interviews and original research.

It is also to Scott that we owe a number of the common misconceptions bedevilling Clan Gregor to this day - such as Rob Roy's wife's name (it was Mary, not Helen); "Duncan" the son he never had; the calumny on Dougal ciar mor (he had died long before the battle) as the murderer of the school children at Glen Fruin and so on. Scott was also responsible for the unsubstantiated claim that "his length of arm was a circumstance on which he prided himself; that when he wore his native Highland garb, he could tie the garters of his hose without stooping;"

It is for these reasons that I have included this Project Gutenberg edition of "Rob Roy" and advise particular notice of the Introduction and Notes.


Rob Roy - Introduction by Sir Walter Scott
Rob Roy - Appendix to Introduction by Sir Walter Scott
Rob Roy - Volume i Chapter first and second
Rob Roy - Volume i Chapter third and fourth
Rob Roy - Volume i Chapter fifth and sixth
Rob Roy - Volume i Chapter seventh and eighth
Rob Roy - Volume i Chapter ninth and tenth
Rob Roy - Volume i Chapter eleventh and twelth
Rob Roy - Volume i Chapter thirteenth and fourteenth
Rob Roy - Volume i Chapter fifteenth and sixteenth
Rob Roy - Volume i Chapter seventeenth
Rob Roy - Volume ii Chapter first and second
Rob Roy - Volume ii Chapter third and fourth
Rob Roy - Volume ii Chapter fifth and sixth
Rob Roy - Volume ii Chapter seventh and eigth
Rob Roy - Volume ii Chapter ninth and tenth
Rob Roy - Volume ii Chapter eleventh and twelth
Rob Roy - Volume ii Chapter thirteenth and fourteenth
Rob Roy - Volume ii Chapter fifteenth and sixteenth
Rob Roy - Volume ii Chapter seventeenth and eighteenth
Rob Roy - Volume ii Chapter nineteenth and twentyth
Rob Roy - Volume ii Chapter twentyfirst
Rob Roy - Notes