Rob Roy (novel)

Rob Roy (novel)

infobox Book |
name = Rob Roy
orig title =
translator =

author = Sir Walter Scott
cover_artist =
country = Scotland and England simultaneously
language = English, Lowland Scots, anglicised Scottish Gaelic
series = Waverley Novels
genre = Historical novel
publisher = Archibald Constable, Edinburgh; Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown, London
release_date = 1817
media_type = Print (Hardback & Paperback)
pages =
isbn = NA
preceded_by = The Antiquary
followed_by = Ivanhoe

"Rob Roy" (1817) is a novel by Walter Scott about Frank Osbaldistone, the son of an English merchant who goes to the Scottish Highlands to collect a debt stolen from his father. Rob Roy MacGregor, whom the book is named after, appears in the book several times but is not the lead character (in fact the narrative does not move to Scotland until half way through the book).

Plot introduction

The story takes place at the time of the 'Fifteen Jacobite Rising. The plot has been criticized as disjointed; the end especially is hurried.

Frank Osbaldistone, the narrator, quarrels with his father and is sent to stay with an uncle, Sir Hildebrand Osbaldistone, in Northumberland. Frank falls in love with Diana Vernon, Sir Hildebrand's niece, whose father has been forced to go into hiding because of his Jacobite sympathies. Frank's cousin, Rashleigh, steals important documents vital to the honour of Frank's father, William, and Frank pursues Rashleigh to Scotland. There he meets Robert Roy MacGregor, an associate of Diana's father. When Rashleigh attacks Frank, Rob Roy kills Rashleigh. All Sir Hildebrand's other sons are killed in the Jacobite rebellion, and Frank inherits Sir Hildebrand's property and marries Diana.

The novel is a brutally realistic depiction of the social conditions in Highland and Lowland Scotland in the early 18th Century. The Highlanders were compared with American Indians, as regards to their primitive, isolated lifestyle.


Rob Roy was written from the Spring of 1817 and published on Hogmanay of that year. Like the original Waverley novel it was published anonymously and came in three volumes. The demand for the novel was huge and a whole ship from Leith to London contained nothing but an entire edition of itFact|date=December 2007.Furthermore, "Rob Roy" was written at a time when many Europeans started regretting colonialism and imperialism as reports circulated back of horrendous atrocities towards primitive cultures. It was also a time when debates raged about the slave trade, the British occupation of India, and, more relevant to the novel, the disastrous effect of the Highland Clearances. Many writers would praise pre-commercial cultures and their defiance against the corrupting influence of commercial imperialism and "civilized" values. William Wordsworth wrote "The Conventions of Cintra", praising Spanish resistance to Napoleonic force; Byron would go on to praise Amazonian women in "Child Harold's Pilgrimage", inverting the "polite" norms of femininity that the modern "civilized" world placed on them; and, finally, Walter Scott would write about similar events in "The Visions of Don Roderick". What was evidently being championed before Scott wrote Rob Roy was a pre-commercial culture’s primitive resistance. The term "guerrilla" (as in warfare etc) came about during this period. []

Characters in "Rob Roy"

*Francis Osbaldistone, son of an English Merchant
*Rashleigh Obaldistone, his cousin, and the villain.
*Robert Roy MacGregor Campbell, a scot livestock operator, and leader of an old clan-based group
*Helen Campbell, his wife
*Andrew Fairservice, a shrewd gardener
*Diana Vernon, resident at Obaldistone Hall, the love interest.
*Captain Thornton, a brave and noble British officer.

Cultural references

* The novel was neither the source of the 1995 film, "Rob Roy" directed by Michael Caton-Jones and starring Liam Neeson, nor the 1953 live-action Disney film, "Rob Roy, the Highland Rogue". It was,however, the inspiration for Old-line cinema's 2008 film "Rob Roy." Directed and produced by Anna Janosik & Victoria Unthank. Starring Andrew Lonon, Zan Campbell, Sam Kent,and Aaron Sanders.

* A brand of blended Scotch whisky, Bailie Nicol Jarvie, is named after a character from the book.


External links

*gutenberg|no=7025|name=Rob Roy
* [ The Edinburgh Sir Walter Scott Club]

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Look at other dictionaries:

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