The Heart of Midlothian

The Heart of Midlothian Early In Scott Received In An Unsigned Letter The Seed Of The Heart Of Mid Lothian And Began Immediately To Shape From Historical Fact The Story Of Jeanie Deans, A Dairymaid Who, While Refusing To Lie To Save Her Sister S Life, Journeys To London To Beg For A Reprieve Set In The S In A Scotland Uneasily United With England, The Novel Dramatizes Different Kinds Of Justice That Meted Out By The Edinburgh Mob In The Lynching Of One Captain Porteous, And That Encountered By A Young Girl On Trial For InfanticideA Bestseller From Philadelphia To St Petersburg, An Inspiration To Succeeding Novelists From Balzac To George Eliot, The Heart Of Mid Lothian Is The Seventh And Finest Of Scott S Waverley Novels This Edition, Based On The First Edition Of , Incorporates Many New Corrections From The Manuscript And From Other Sources Tony Inglis Provides A Full Introduction To The Historical Background, And To The Novel S Rich Use Of Language And Dialect, Its Themes And Narrative Modes

Librarian Note There is than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. Sir Walter Scott was born on August 15, 1771 in Edinburgh, Scotland Scott created and popularized historical novels in a series called the Waverley Novels In his novels Scott arranged the plots and characters so the reader enters into the lives of both great and ordinary people caught up in violent, dramatic

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  • Paperback
  • 793 pages
  • The Heart of Midlothian
  • Walter Scott
  • English
  • 06 July 2018
  • 9780140431292

10 thoughts on “The Heart of Midlothian

  1. says:

    The title of this book comes from the nickname of the prison in Edinburgh, Scotland real name Toolbooth Midlothian, is the county, surrounding that beautiful, ancient, hilly, capital city in 1736, there occurred a brutal riot, in which Captain John Porteous, of the local police force, an arrogant man, was lynched by an angry mob , a real event the captain, had killed some townspeople, during a tumultuous disturbance earlier A smuggler Andrew Wilson, was executed under his watch, his loyal friends, had tried to rescue the criminal, and the late Mr.Wilson, became an enormous hero, when he helped George Robertson, captured with him, escape in Church, by holding off the inattentive guards Back then the naive authorities, thought a last visit to God s Temple, might benefit the doomed men, things have changed greatly, since then Meanwhile Jeanie Deans, daughter of David Deans, had visited her younger sister Euphemia, Effie at the Toolbooth, before it was stormed Captain Porteous, convicted of several murders, previously mentioned, was inside too, but a royal reprieve, caused the indignant people, in town to suspect that Justice, would not be served Effie, an unmarried woman, was found guilty of child killing, her new born son, vanished mysteriously, their widower father, a strict Christian farmer, lives just outside the historical city, is profoundly shocked, learning about Effie s scandal His family s good reputation, is tarnished, forever, the teenager adamantly refuses, to reveal the man responsible for the baby, yet suspicion falls on the notorious fugitive , George Robertson Time is flowing by, in a few weeks, unless something unforeseen develops, poor Effie will be no , it s up to Jeanie, to save her little sister, but how She feels responsible, because at the trial, Jeanie, deeply religious, could not commit perjury, which would have freed Effie, today, that doesn t bother people much Complicating everything, is Rev.Reuben Butler, a penniless clergyman, that the older sister loves, how can she marry him, with Effie s case so well known, no respectable man would Now brave Jeanie, has a bold idea , go to distant London, hundreds of miles from Edinburgh and get a royal pardon for Euphemia, traveling money will be needed, even if she has to walk most of the way, only one person she knows has it Dumbiedikes, a rich, shy, landowner, hopelessly in love with Miss Deans, the embarrassed Jeanie, has to ask for help from this man One of the better historical novels, from the very sophisticated, Sir Walter Scott, some say his best.

  2. says:

    Note, Feb 28, 2013 On reflection, I decided that this book deserved the fifth star I try not to be too prodigal with five star ratings but here, I believe it s earned.This book was on the reading list for a Univ of Iowa correspondence course on the 19th century British novel which I considered taking back in 1999 I never did, but by then I d read the book and a couple of others for background reading I don t regret the read one bit For the last several months, I ve tried to focus my usually rather random retrospective reviews on classics Before I go back to the random mode there are some specific recent books I want to review , I m going to wrap up this round of classics reviews with this neglected gem.The only other book by Scott who is, of course, the giant of Romantic period British historical fiction that I ve read is Ivanhoe, written a year after this one Both novels feature strong female lead characters Jeanie here is actually the protagonist of the novel Scott s first female protagonist, according to Wikipedia , who play active roles in the plot, face adversity with courage, determination and resourcefulness, and command our liking and respect Jeanie may have blazed a trail in Scott s mind for Rebecca in Ivanhoe Here, though, he sets his tale much closer to his own time, and in his native Scotland But while the civilized 18th century offers less scope for tournaments and swordplay, here we still have outlaws, injustice and danger to contend with and as the above Goodreads description indicates, Jeanie will have to go the second mile to save her sister without depending on a male to do it for her.Effie Deans is the unwed mother of an outlaw s newborn child a child who s now missing To the authorities, that suggests the possibility of infanticide and the harsh law mentioned in the description above was a provision of Scots law, at that time, which reversed the normal presumption of the accused s innocence, for this charge only So to hang her, the prosecution doesn t need to prove her guilty rather, she s expected to prove her innocence, a task that s much difficult especially if she can t produce the live baby Scott s background in the law is apparent here in the way that he handles the legal aspects It s worth noting, in passing, that Scott and his original readers take it for granted that the baby is a human being deserving of protection by society, not a clump of tissues that the mother would be justified in killing if she didn t want a child True, killing a baby after birth is still technically illegal, despite the legality of abortion but many in the medical and legal communities argue that the distinction is an artificial superstition, and that anything that s legal before birth should be legal immediately after it as well In the climate of most jurisdictions today, my impression is that a woman accused of Effie s offense wouldn t face than a wrist slap, if that For Scott, on the other hand, Effie s actual innocence is crucial to the merits of the case.Scott spins his tale in the Romantic style, with fulsome 19th century diction that won t be to every modern reader s taste, nor will his heavy use of Scots dialect in dialogue For those who don t mind this, or who can get past it, though, this is a captivating storyline with well drawn, engaging characters, which really brings its setting to life and which offers some surprises before it s over The faith of the mostly Presbyterian characters is treated positively and respectfully though Scott himself was an Anglican a form of religious dissent in Scotland, where the state Kirk was and is Presbyterian It s true that David, Jeanie s father, is portrayed at times as over concerned with theological hair splitting, but I d disagree with the writer of the Wikipedia article that this rises to the level of ridicule he s basically a sympathetic character, and this comes across as just a forgivable foible of his generation and personality I d also disagree with Wikipedia s suggestion that the Jacobite rebellions and sentiment play any major role here the former are mentioned in passing a couple of times, but they re mostly ignored That theme plays much strongly in Stevenson s Kidnapped.Scott is definitely a writer whose work I d like to read of, someday With exposure to him, I think he d easily become one of my favorites.

  3. says:

    The Heart of Midlothian is the seventh of Sir Walter Scott s Waverley Novels It was originally published in four volumes on July 25, 1818, under the title of Tales of My Landlord , 2nd series, and the author was given as Jedediah Cleishbotham, Schoolmaster and Parish clerk of Gandercleugh When the book was released it was even popular than the book right before it, Rob Roy , I read that too, I remember nothing about it Sitting here thinking of the book, either this one or any other Scott book you can think of, reminds me of the reason I don t read Scott s books, OK, there s a couple of reasons The problem is, since quite a long time goes by between my reading of one of his books until the next one I ve forgotten three things what the last book of his I read was about, that I no longer read his books, and the reasons why Then I start reading and it all comes back, the reasons why anyway, I still can t remember what Rob Roy , Ivanhoe , Old Mortality and who knows what else is about But on to The Heart of Midlothian.It begins sort of with an introduction by the author I never read introductions by other people, but since it was by the author I figured he probably didn t give the plot of his own book away I m still not sure what he gave away, the first sentence is this The author has stated, in the preface to the Chronicles of the Canongate, 1827, that he received from an anonymous correspondent an account of the incident upon which the following story is founded I don t know what the preface to the Chronicles of the Canongate is that he has stated this account of this story is, but I ll take his word for it We now move on to the letter received from Mrs Helen Gowdie which starts like this I had taken for summer lodgings a cottage near the old Abbey of Lincluden It had formerly been inhabited by a lady who had pleasure in embellishing cottages, which she found perhaps homely and even poor enough mine, therefore, possessed many marks of taste and elegance unusual in this species of habitation in Scotland, where a cottage is literally what its name declares.From my cottage door I had a partial view of the old Abbey before mentioned some of the highest arches were seen over, and some through, the trees scattered along a lane which led down to the ruin, and the strange fantastic shapes of almost all those old ashes accorded wonderfully well with the building they at once shaded and ornamented The Abbey itself from my door was almost on a level with the cottage but on coming to the end of the lane, it was discovered to be situated on a high perpendicular bank, at the foot of which run the clear waters of the Cluden, where they hasten to join the sweeping Nith, Whose distant roaring swells and fa s There isn t anything particulary wrong with this letter, I guess, as long as you like writing really, really long letters with really, really fancy wording, because it is taking her a while to get to the point and by the time she does her hand must hurt terribly Anyway, Mrs Gowdie tells the author about an old woman of seventy or eighty years of age who she goes to buy chickens from who s name is or was Helen Walker When Mrs Gowdie goes home she asks her husband about Helen Walker and he tells her that Helen had a much younger sister who had been tried for child murder and Helen walked all the way to London to get her sister a pardon Mrs Gowdie doesn t get a chance to return to the cottage of Helen until the spring and she finds that in the meantime Helen has died So Mrs Gowdie spends some time trying to gather together of the story and sends the whole thing to our author So now that we get through all that we re ready to get on with the story, we turn the page and find a postscript And we read this Although it would be impossible to add much to Mrs Goldie s picturesque and most interesting account of Helen Walker, the prototype of the imaginary Jeanie Deans, the Editor may be pardoned for introducing two or three anecdotes respecting that excellent person, which he has collected from a volume entitled, Sketches from Nature, by John M Diarmid, a gentleman who conducts an able provincial paper in the town of Dumfries I m already wishing that since it is impossible to add to the account of Helen Walker the editor wouldn t, and we could begin the story, but he didn t seem to be able to help himself so we go on to find that Helen was the daughter of a small farmer, was considered was proud and conceited, worked to support her mother when her father died, refused to lie to save her sister but walked barefoot to London for a pardon, lived and died in poverty That s the shortened version of it anyway Now we can begin the story, turn the page and find TO THE BEST OF PATRONS, A PLEASED AND INDULGENT READER JEDEDIAH CLEISHBOTHAM WISHES HEALTH, AND INCREASE, AND CONTENTMENT Courteous Reader, If ingratitude comprehendeth every vice, surely so foul a stain worst of all beseemeth him whose life has been devoted to instructing youth in virtue and in humane letters Therefore have I chosen, in this prolegomenon, to unload my burden of thanks at thy feet, for the favour with which thou last kindly entertained the Tales of my Landlord Certes, if thou hast chuckled over their factious and festivous descriptions, or hadst thy mind filled with pleasure at the strange and pleasant turns of fortune which they record, verily, I have also simpered when I beheld a second storey with attics, that has arisen on the basis of my small domicile at Gandercleugh, the walls having been aforehand pronounced by Deacon Barrow to be capable of enduring such an elevation.It is with this sole purpose, and disclaiming all intention of purchasing that pendicle or poffle of land called the Carlinescroft, lying adjacent to my garden, and measuring seven acres, three roods, and four perches, that I have committed to the eyes of those who thought well of the former tomes, these four additional volumes of the Tales of my Landlord Not the less, if Peter Prayfort be minded to sell the said poffle, it is at his own choice to say so and, peradventure, he may meet with a purchaser unless gentle reader the pleasing pourtraictures of Peter Pattieson, now given unto thee in particular, and unto the public in general, shall have lost their favour in thine eyes, whereof I am no way distrustful And so much confidence do I repose in thy continued favour, that, should thy lawful occasions call thee to the town of Gandercleugh, a place frequented by most at one time or other in their lives, I will enrich thine eyes with a sight of those precious manuscripts whence thou hast derived so much delectation, thy nose with a snuff from my mull, and thy palate with a dram from my bottle of strong waters, called by the learned of Gandercleugh, the Dominie s Dribble o Drink It goes on for a while after this, but all I want to do is get to the story, if you really want to read the rest of it and try to make heads or tails out of it, it s on gutenburg Besides, I ve just turned the page and saw Chapter I which was exciting, the title Being Introductory wasn t It is a fine summer day and the narrator, the narrator of this introductory chapter anyway, is walking out the highway to meet the coach he is expecting anytime now The coach overturns however, and because of this our narrator meets two young lawyers, passengers on the coach and an elderly and sickly looking man by the name of Mr Dunover During this chapter we find that Mr Dunover has been in prison, the Heart of Mid Lothian Then the Tolbooth of Edinburgh is called the Heart of Mid Lothian said I So termed and reputed, I assure you I think, said I, with the bashful diffidence with which a man lets slip a pun in presence of his superiors, the metropolitan county may, in that case, be said to have a sad heart Right as my glove, Mr Pattieson, added Mr Hardie and a close heart, and a hard heart Keep it up, Jack And a wicked heart, and a poor heart, answered Halkit, doing his best And yet it may be called in some sort a strong heart, and a high heart, rejoined the advocate You see I can put you both out of heart Hardie now renounced this ineffectual search, in which there was perhaps a little affectation, and told us the tale of poor Dunover s distresses, with a tone in which a degree of feeling, which he seemed ashamed of as unprofessional, mingled with his attempts at wit, and did him honour It was one of those tales which seem to argue a sort of ill luck or fatality attached to the hero A well informed, industrious, and blameless, but poor and bashful man, had in vain essayed all the usual means by which others acquire independence, yet had never succeeded beyond the attainment of bare subsistence During a brief gleam of hope, rather than of actual prosperity, he had added a wife and family to his cares, but the dawn was speedily overcast Everything retrograded with him towards the verge of the miry Slough of Despond, which yawns for insolvent debtors and after catching at each twig, and experiencing the protracted agony of feeling them one by one elude his grasp, he actually sunk into the miry pit whence he had been extricated by the professional exertions of Hardie And the introductory chapter ends with this Next morning the travellers left Gandercleugh I afterwards learned from the papers that both have been since engaged in the great political cause of Bubbleburgh and Bitem, a summary case, and entitled to particular despatch but which, it is thought, nevertheless, may outlast the duration of the parliament to which the contest refers Mr Halkit, as the newspapers informed me, acts as agent or solicitor and Mr Hardie opened for Sir Peter Plyem with singular ability, and to such good purpose, that I understand he has since had fewer play bills and briefs in his pocket And both the young gentlemen deserve their good fortune for I learned from Dunover, who called on me some weeks afterwards, and communicated the intelligence with tears in his eyes, that their interest had availed to obtain him a small office for the decent maintenance of his family and that, after a train of constant and uninterrupted misfortune, he could trace a dawn of prosperity to his having the good fortune to be flung from the top of a mail coach into the river Gander, in company with an advocate and a writer to the Signet The reader will not perhaps deem himself equally obliged to the accident, since it brings upon him the following narrative, founded upon the conversation of the evening So, once again I turn the page, although I no longer really cared all that much any and foundthe story, finally Now that I was actually reading the plot of the book, it was very interesting and I was enjoying myself, if you can enjoy yourself reading about people getting arrested, and hung, and riots, and child murders and things like that And then, suddenly it all came back to me, why I don t read Scott, it s because I have almost no idea what anyone is saying but be he ruffler or padder, but he knows my gybe as well as the jark of e er a queer cuffin the bauldest of them wilken a scart o my guse feather pits a wheen fule sangs and idle vanities he suld hae a lang shankit spune that wadsup kail wi the deil Anyway, I m now trying to decide whether to get it into my head that I don t like Scott, that it takes far too long to get to the plot for me and my head aches too much for the translating the words in my brain, or perhaps I should dig out all my Scott books and read them back to back, maybe by the end of them all I ll have gotten used to him Maybe I haven t mentioned hardly anything of the plot yet, and I ve talked enough about this book, so here it is, it s about a sister who murders her child, or perhaps doesn t murder her child, maybe someone else did it, or maybe the child isn t dead, and another sister who likes walking barefoot, and a bunch of people who like to hang other people, oh, and there are Dukes in it, and Kings and Queens and all kinds of people There, how s that for the plot Go read the book, let me know what anyone in it said.

  4. says:

    Sense and Sensibility meets Perry Mason, based on a true story Once the reader gathers enough skill to decipher the vernacular and stilted narratives and dialogue of that day, an enjoyable tale written early enough in the 19th century as to avoid the silliness of late 19th century Romanticism The parallels to Jane Auten s work are many, especially the relationship of the wise and foolish sisters Interestingly, Austen and Scott wrote almost simultaneously, yet his work seems dated than hersMy first Walter Scott Encouraged to try .A very good read.

  5. says:

    A good Walter Scott novel, loosely based on real facts Jeanie Deans, the main character, can be considered as C.S.Lewis remarked one of the perfect women in literature The novel slacks its pace between chapters 39 and 49, but rushes forth to a surprising ending in the last three chapters.

  6. says:

    DNF Could not get through this without a literature guide, and I d rather just read for pleasure and pick books I actually understand.

  7. says:

    I thought I would read this famous book as a sort of duty like I shall one day read Ulysses Other reviewers will be able to explain why, but I just found it an utter delight Basically a road movie but with tremendously vivid portrayals of the whole of Britain in the 18th Century, locks of macabre detail, great Gothic set pieces and an immensely sympathetic central figure I think I learned that Scott is nothing like I thought he would be like I dreaded the proclaimed long introduction but found it to be a witty at times genuinely comical setting out of the fictitious lost manuscript that Scott uses as the basis for his tale I doubt if anyone is fooled, but the scenes he draws in that early section of the book the pompous schoolteacher, the capsising of the coach, the breezy young lawyers Scott himself , the gathering in the inn are all drawn with the same humour and vigour he brings to recounting the various happenings on his heroine s long journey south and back to Edinburgh It was just great.

  8. says:

    My favorite Scott There s a very powerful scene where the girl drags herself across an outer landscape that is a complete mirror of her inner state the entire book is than worth it for that one scene.

  9. says:

    Longer review to follow This is pretty difficult to rate On the one hand, I m fascinated by how much background information and historical depth Scott has managed to fit into this novel, on the other hand there s the plot which starts in a very roundabout way and ends about 80 pages before the actual novel ends Just in case anyone is confused by the large jump from page 490 to done the actual novel is around 530 pages, the rest are notes and a Scots glossary

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