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The Chronicles of the Canongate


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The Highland Widow

I'm just starting this thread to remind me to post in more detail. Scott is at his best dealing with Scottish society in the eighteenth and seventeenth centuries, with fallout of the the defeat of the House of Stewart from the British throne. Waverley, his first novel, deals with the Jacobite rising of 1745 under Prince Charles Edward Stuart, aka Bonnie Prince Charlie. Scott skims over the suppression of the Highlands after the defeat of the Jabobites at the battle of Culloden. This short story is the only one one of Scott's writings to deal with that aspect. I'll post later. There is no incomprehensible Scots dialogue. Because the two principal characters are speaking in Gaelic, Scot renders their speech in balanced Augustan English. (He makes the point that Gaelic speech is more formal than demotic Scots or English.) The Highland Widow herself is a tragic character who reminds me of Verdi's Azucena.

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