Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Black Dwarf and 19th Century Literature

I reviewed The Black Dwarf by Sir Walter Scott this week. You can read the review here.

I thought it was a good story, but not a great one. I may try some of Scott's other works, so I can compare. Scott wrote a companion book to this one entitled Old Mortality which received better reviews. That might be a good choice.

There are coincidences in the plot and an ending that's a little too pat, but strong characters are the most important aspect of any novel and this book has a great one. In the introduction Scott explains that Elshie is based on a real man, David Ritchie, who "...was the son of a labourer in the slate-quarries of Stobo, and must have been born in the misshapen form which he exhibited, though he sometimes imputed it to ill-usage when in infancy."

My daughter is a huge fan of 19th century literature and has influence my taste. It's fun to step back into another era, which must be why Jane Austen is so popular.

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