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.

1 comment:

  1. I read about that book in God's Gift to Women (which I've finished and will return soon, as soon as I can pick up a manila envelope). I really wanted to read it based on Eric's description, and now that you have given it a favorable review, I want to read it even more! (I mean, it must be pretty amazing if it captivated you-a woman who also loves much more feminine books like Pride and Prejudice. Guess it must have something for everyone?) Thanks for reminding me of the title...I'm at the library right now, so I'm gonna check their catalog.

    Braveheart and the book probably are not comparable because I don't believe they tell the story in the same way. Braveheart is still the best examples of manhood and honor in any movie I've ever seen, and is well worth the five Oscars it won! BUT, to each his (or her) own. In terms of movies about honor and inner qualities, Braveheart is one of the best, but this book seems like one of the best in terms of books. I can't wait to read it! Hope you're doing well by the way.