The Bride of Lammermoor is a historical novel by Sir Walter Scott, set in Scotland in the reign of Queen Anne. The novel tells of a tragic love affair between Lucy Ashton and her family's enemy Edgar Ravenswood. Scott indicated the plot was based on an actual incident. The Bride of Lammermoor was published in 1819; it helps form the third series of Scott's Tales of My Landlord. In addition to the social implications and the political elements in this novel, the pathetic outcome, involving madness and death, appears to indicate a message about pride, extreme malleability of Lucy’s character, and perhaps some grim destiny. As is usually the case in literature, the sad stories come true.
The story tells the tragic love of Edgar, Master of Ravenswood, and Lucy Ashton, the daughter of Ravenswood's enemy, Sir William Ashton. Sir William's wife, Lady Ashton, is the villain, indifferent and manipulative in her objective to cancel the original happy engagement between Edgar and Lucy and forcing a speedily arranged marriage with the Laird of Bucklaw. In the climax, when the manipulation takes its full course and the wedding celebrations have been held, Lucy stabs the bridegroom, severely wounding him, and goes quickly into insanity and dies. In the story, Caleb Balderstone, an eccentric old Ravenswood family retainer, provides some comic relief.
By chance, Ravenswood saves Ashton and his beautiful daughter, Lucy, from a stampede of Highland cattle. When political events raise friends to power, Ashton deems it advisable to agree to a match between his daughter and the young laird. Although her daughter has fallen in love with the Stuart sympathiser, Lady Ashton, an overbearing and virulent Whig adherent, returning home, cancels the marriage. Determined to see Lucy marry the Lord of Buclaw instead, Lady Ashton oppresses her daughter, who appears to yield, believing Ravenswood to have abandoned her after her mother has contemptuously dismissed him. Returning from a foreign...
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