Rob Roy
Sir Walter Scott
1817

Set in the years immediately preceding the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715, in which supporters of James VII of Scotland (known as James II in England) sought to restore him to the British throne, Rob Roy is an historical novel depicting the social conditions and political upheaval of Scotland at the time, as seen through the eyes of a young man of a Jacobite family. The name of the book is taken not from its principal character, but from the real-life person of Robert Roy MacGregor, who appears at various times in the story and whose presence and personality shape both the plot and the context in which Rob Roy is set.

A Jacobite himself, the historical Rob Roy is something of a Scottish folk-hero not unlike Robin Hood. Landowner and later debtor, nationalist and notorious outlaw, he represents the struggle of Scotland for freedom from foreign rule as represented by the House of Hanover dynasty, the German royal dynasty that took power in England and Scotland following the fall of James VII/James II. More broadly. Rob Roy symbolizes the anti-colonial impulse generally, Sir Walter Scott’s novel appearing as sympathy towards those colonized in the Americas and elsewhere took root in the UK and drawing clear parallels between the experiences of the Highland Scots and the indigenous peoples of North America.

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