Author(s): David Stevenson
This is the first life of Rob to written by an experienced historian, based on a full range of sources. The picture that emerges is one of a remarkable life - but not a heroic one. The picture of a man deeply wronged and oppressed, forced into outlawry, has to be modified by the clear evidence that he was only outlawed after undertaking a careful plan to swindle his creditors. The staunch Jacobite is revealed as a man who supplied intelligence to the government against them. The supposed warrior leader never fought in a battle, the reputed great duellist avoided violence whenever possible and is only known to have fought one duel - which he lost. Yet in some ways Rob remains an attractive figure. That he survived, in spite of the odds against him, is a remarkable tribute to his tenacity of both body and spirit - and to his ability to make people like and trust him, accepting his own version of his life instead of that of his enemies. With this book Scotland may lose a hero of the old-fashioned, unreal sort, but it possesses in Rob Roy a man whose true life-story as it emerges is dramatic and human.