Sir Walter Scott’s ‘Rob Roy’ manuscript to go on show

AUTHOR Sir Walter Scott’s manuscript for his novel Rob Roy will go on display at the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh from March.

The manuscript, which hasn’t been on show to the public for at least a century, is written in Scott’s own hand.

The copy of Rob Roy was bought a year ago when a group of organisations purchased the “Honresfield Library”, a collection of books assembled during the 19th century by mill owner William Law.

Ralph McLean, a manuscript curator at the National Library of Scotland, said: “William Law formed a fairly close relationship with the Scott family, and was able to buy material from them directly.

“This is how the manuscript Rob Roy came to be in his private collection.

“The manuscript wasn’t always in the Scott family’s possession however – its ownership tended to depend on how wealthy they were at any given time.”

McLean added: “When Sir Walter Scott and his business partners encountered financial difficulties after the crash of 1826, a number of his manuscripts were later auctioned off to reduce the debt incurred.

Rob Roy was sold, but was eventually bought back by Scott’s son-in-law, John Gibson Lockhart, and returned to the Scott family in the mid-19th century.

“However once again, the family fell on hard times and it was purchased by William Law and added to his private library.”

The manuscript will go on display in the spring as part of the permanent “Treasures of the National Library of Scotland” exhibition.

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Plus, don’t miss crime fiction author Craig Robertson’s credo in the January issue of Scottish Field magazine.