Frank Osbaldistone does not want to work at his father's accounting firm in early 18th century London. When the elder Osbaldistone finally agrees, he banishes his son and brings a nephew into the family business instead. Frank finds himself in the northern reaches of England, near the border of Scotland with no set future. He has little money, no position, and is dependent on his uncle for room and board.
This is the beginning of Frank's adventures. He falls in love with a woman who must marry one of his cousins. He discovers one cousin has been hiding away peeping on other members of the household. When money is stolen from his father's business, he goes to Scotland to catch the thief. Before he can make a disastrous mistake Frank meets an elusive man who seems to be helping him. He has met the infamous Rob Roy, Robert MacGregor Campbell, the "Robin Hood of Scotland." This Highlander helps Frank find the people who can assist in recovering the missing money and papers. Frank travels the Scottish countryside, visits a jail, and is arrested by the English military among his travels.
All the hype for this classic novel is for Rob Roy and his wife, Helen. Yet they are only half the story at the most, in my opinion. Instead, this is a story of maturing as Frank grows up. He has had the luck to fall in with a Scottish legend and learn many lessons. Since it is a first person narrative novel, it is all from Frank's viewpoint. This is Frank's story, and the famous Highlander is one of the characters that helps shape him. This is not, in my opinion, a novel about Robert and Helen MacGregor Campbell. They, instead, are the influences of Frank Osbaldistone's life.
I enjoyed this novel when I could stay with it. Scott's writing style kept my attention. Unfortunately the conversations are in the Scottish dialect of the time. There is a glossary at the end of the book, but I didn't use it. Most of the time I could figure out contents of conversations if not details. It is the language that gives this novel its flavor. It is also the reason it can be difficult to read, at least in English.
Besides at . Rob Roy is available to read online or at your local library .
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These reviews are personal opinions only and in no way reflect other readers' opinions of the books discussed.
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