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Rob Roy


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A novel by Sir W. Scott, published 1817.

The story takes place just before the Jacobite rising of 1715. Francis Osbaldistone, the son of a rich London merchant, on refusing to adopt his father's profession, is banished to Osbaldistone Hall in the north of England, the home of his fox‐hunting, hard‐drinking uncle, Sir Hildebrand Osbaldistone. Here he is brought into contact with Sir Hildebrand's six boorish sons, one of whom, Rashleigh, is a malignant plotter who has been selected to occupy the place of Francis in the London counting‐house, and Sir Hildebrand's niece, the high‐spirited Diana Vernon. Rashleigh is deeply involved with Jacobite intrigues, has evil designs on Diana, and becomes the bitter enemy of Francis, who falls in love with Diana and is received by her with favour. The story is occupied with the attempts of Rashleigh to destroy Francis and to rob and ruin Francis's father, attempts that are defeated partly by Diana, and partly by the singular Scotsman Rob Roy Macgregor. This historical character, member of a proscribed clan, was once an honest drover; embittered by misfortune and injustice, he is now an outlaw, the ruthless and cunning opponent of the government's agents, but capable of justice and even generosity. In the outcome Rashleigh is forced to surrender the funds that he has misappropriated, and is killed by Rob Roy after having betrayed his Jacobite associates to the government. Francis is restored to his father's favour, becomes the owner of Osbaldistone Hall, and marries Diana. His incorrigible manservant Andrew Fairservice is one of Scott's great characters.

Subjects: Literature.


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