Two centuries before Marvel and Star Wars, Walter Scott’s Rob Roy was the first modern anti-hero – Dr Daniel Cook in The Conversation

Rival siblings, disappointed fathers, resentful sons, cowards, double-crossers, powerful women, colonial guilt, crumbling Highland estates and an elusive anti-hero: Sir Walter Scott’s Rob Roy has it all. It is a masterclass of serious pantomime.

“Two hundred years ago, on New Year’s Eve 1817, Scott published his latest smash hit, a fictional account of a real-life cattle thief or a freedom fighter, depending on your point of view, during the Jacobite rebellions of 1715.

In an article for The Conversation, Dr Daniel Cook, Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Dundee, champions Walter Scott’s Rob Roy as a tale that speaks to a renewed interest in the lives and misadventures of anti-heroes.

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