Rob Roy MacGregor: His Life and Times

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Canongate, 1995 - Biography & Autobiography - 301 pages
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Rob Roy MacGregor, Scotland's most romantic, elusive hero, was an outlaw and a life-long enemy of Montrose. So well-known was he that no one thought to write down a physical description of him, or any direct record of his childhood and youth. Thus tracking down Rob Roy today is to embark upon a painstaking search through archives, estate records and folk myths, enriched and confused by the romantic yarns that have grown up around him.
W. H. Murray brings together new interpretations of Rob Roy's life and times to produce a new understanding of the character, actions and motives of a man who became a myth and symbol of Scotland. Murray shows that Rob Roy's renown stems from his remarkable force of character, rather than his politics or his place in the writings of Sir Walter Scott. His political mission outwardly failed, but his extraordinary resolution in adversity has earned him his place in history and legend.

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About the author (1995)

W. H. Murray, born in Liverpool in 1913 and educated at Glasgow Academy, was then employed by the Union Bank of Scotland. During the thirties he discovered his love for the Scottish mountains. It was when he was captured in the Second World War that he first began to write, but his manuscript was confiscated by the Germans. After the war he decided to write for a living and it was the book he had started while in the prisoner of war camp that became his first published work—Mountaineering in Scotland (1947) was hailed as a masterpiece. In the immediate post-war years he also took a leading role in a number of expeditions to the Himalayas, and his pioneering work in this region prepared the way for Hilary's conquest of Everest in 1953. Murray went on to write over twenty books in a number of fields including mountaineering, history and fiction. He won many awards, including the Literary Award of the U.S.A Education Board, an honorary doctorate from Stirling University and the Mungo Park Medal for Himalayan exploration. He settled with his wife, Anne, in Argyll, and died in 1996.

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