Thursday, September 2, 2010
The Scottish Chiefs
I understand better now.
Being a reader of Eric Ludy's blog, and now going to Ellerslie, I could hardly help but hear about the book The Scottish Chiefs. In fact, in my acceptance letter to Ellerslie, there was a recommendation (not a requirement) to read it if I hadn't already, because of the insight it gives into the heart of Eric Ludy. Also, the name Ellerslie originated from it, being the name of Sir William Wallace's estate.
"Ok", I thought, "I'll look into it." Instead of buying the book, I looked it up at the library. They didn't have an unabridged version in the entire interlibrary system but they had the above edition (edited by Kate Douglas Wiggin and Nora A. Smith, 1949), so I put it on hold. Before too long, it had arrived, and I checked it out.
It didn't take me very long to realize that I had uncovered a treasure! It has everything: adventure & old-fashioned romance, vice & virtue, history & battles, vivid characters both good and evil. It is pretty fast paced (at least in this edition), with many exciting plot turns, yet it lasts for 500 pages! That's something I like, because I don't like a good book to be over quickly! Men are manly, and women are feminine, and both are valiant and honorable... the good characters, anyway. It wasn't till the end that I caught on to the allegory in it as well.
I haven't seen the movie Braveheart (I know you love it with a passion, Shane) but I think I have just discovered the better alternative. The book's always better than the movie, right? (Star Wars being the exception.) This book is the most incredible, majestic novel I've ever read. I don't think I knew what honor was before I read it.
If you have a mustard seed of tolerance for old books and rich vocabulary, I heartily recommend that you read The Scottish Chiefs. You won't be sorry.