Rent A Cottage In Scotland

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Rob Roy

Rob Roy Macgregor, Scotland's most romantic, elusive hero, was an outlaw and a life-long enemy of Montrose. So well-known was he that no one thought to write down a physical description of him, or any direct record of his childhood and youth. Thus tracking down Rob Roy today is to embark upon a search through archives, estate records and folk myths, enriched and confused by the romantic yarns that have grown up around him. This book brings together new interpretations of Rob Roy's life and times to produce an understanding of the character, actions and motives of a man who became a myth and symbol of Scotland. The author shows that Rob Roy's renown stems from his remarkable force of character, rather than his politics or his place in the writings of Sir Walter Scott. His political mission failed, but his extraordinary resolution in adversity has earned him his place in history and legend. Rob Roy (Canongate).

This is the first life of Rob to written by an experienced historian, based on a full range of sources. The picture that emerges is one of a remarkable life, but not a heroic one. The picture of a man deeply wronged and oppressed, forced into outlawry, has to be modified by the clear evidence that he was only outlawed after undertaking a careful plan to swindle his creditors. The staunch Jacobite is revealed as a man who supplied intelligence to the government against them. The supposed warrior leader never fought in a battle, the reputed great duellist avoided violence whenever possible and is only known to have fought one duel, which he lost. Yet in some ways Rob remains an attractive figure. That he survived, in spite of the odds against him, is a remarkable tribute to his tenacity of both body and spirit, and to his ability to make people like and trust him, accepting his own version of his life instead of that of his enemies. With this book Scotland may lose a hero of the old-fashioned, unreal sort, but it possesses in Rob Roy a man whose true life-story as it emerges is dramatic and human. The Hunt for Rob Roy: The Man and the Myths.

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