The Master of Ballantrae (Classics Illustrated Study Guides Series)

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9781578400492: The Master of Ballantrae (Classics Illustrated Study Guides Series)
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Set at the time of the Jacobite uprising, The Master of Ballantrae tells of a family divided. James Durie, Master of Ballantrae, abandons his ancestral home to support the Scottish rebellion - leaving his younger brother Henry, who is faithful to the English crown, to inherit the title of Lord Durrisdeer. But he is to return years later, embittered by battles and a savage life of piracy on the high seas, to demand his inheritance. Turning the people against the Lord, he begins a savage feud with his brother that will lead the pair from the Scottish Highlands to the American Wilderness. Satanic and seductive, the Master was regarded by Stevenson as all I know of the devil'; his darkly manipulative schemes dominate this subtle and compelling tragedy. This edition takes as its text the Edinburgh Edition of the novel, the last approved by the author. The introduction considers the novel's inspiration and its place as one of Stevenson's greatest studies in cruelty.

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From the Back Cover:

In December 1887 Stevenson wrote that he had 'fallen head over heels into a new tale ... a most seizing tale; there are some fantastic elements; the most is a dead genuine human problem - human tragedy, I should say rather.'. The Master of Ballantrae opens in the old Scottish house of Durrisdeer, ancestral home of the Duries, a family divided by the Jacobite rising of 1745. Its adventure draws in sea voyages, piracy, buried treasure, magic and nightmare, and centres on the fatal rivalry between two brothers, James and Henry, and the wealthy and beautiful kinswoman who loves one brother but marries the other. 'The Master is all I know of the devil, ' Stevenson confessed, and the satanic, virile, seductive figure of James Durie dominates the novel. The family servant Mackellar narrates The Master of Ballantrae, and his divided loyalties dramatize the question of 'mastery' which, in his introduction to this Penguin Classics edition, Adrian Poole identifies as a vital theme in Stevenson's tragic masterpiece.

From the Inside Flap:

Stevenson's brooding historical romance demonstrates his most abiding theme--the elemental struggle between good and evil--as it unfolds against a hauntingly beautiful Scottish landscape, amid the fierce loyalties and violent enmities that characterized Scottish history. When two brothers attempt to split their loyalties between the warring factions of the 1745 Jacobite rising, one family finds itself tragically divided. Stevenson's remarkably vivid characterizations create an acutely moving, psychologically complex work; as Andrea Barrett points out in her Introduction, "The brothers' characters, not the historical facts, shape the drama."
This Modern Library Paperback Classic includes illustrations reproduced from the original edition.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

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