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CATRIONA [NOOK Book]

CATRIONA

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Overview

CHAPTER I--A BEGGAR ON HORSEBACK







The 25th day of August, 1751, about two in the afternoon, I, David

Balfour, came forth of the British Linen Company, a porter

attending me with a bag of money, and some of the chief of these

merchants bowing me from their doors. Two days before, and even so

late as yestermorning, I was like a beggar-man by the wayside, clad

in rags, brought down to my last shillings, my companion a

condemned traitor, a price set on my own head for a crime with the

news of which the country rang. To-day I was served heir to my

position in life, a landed laird, a bank porter by me carrying my

gold, recommendations in my pocket, and (in the words of the

saying) the ball directly at my foot.



There were two circumstances that served me as ballast to so much

sail. The first was the very difficult and deadly business I had

still to handle; the second, the place that I was in. The tall,

black city, and the numbers and movement and noise of so many folk,

made a new world for me, after the moorland braes, the sea-sands

and the still country-sides that I had frequented up to then. The

throng of the citizens in particular abashed me. Rankeillor's son

was short and small in the girth; his clothes scarce held on me;

and it was plain I was ill qualified to strut in the front of a

bank-porter. It was plain, if I did so, I should but set folk

laughing, and (what was worse in my case) set them asking

questions. So that I behooved to come by some clothes of my own,

and in the meanwhile to walk by the porter's side, and put my hand

on his arm as though we were a pair of friends.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940013106123
  • Publisher: SAP
  • Publication date: 7/26/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 270 KB

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2007

    Feminist Interpretation Off the Mark

    Robert Louis Stevenson's novel 'Catriona' continues the run of bad luck that befell the young narrator, David Balfour, in 'Kidnapped.' I am glad the book has won new life in the Barnes and Noble Library of Essential Reading, but I do take issue with the feminist interpretation given in the introduction by Caroline McCracken-Flesher, professor of English at the University of Wyoming. While it is easy enough to understand how turn-of-the-century post-modernists view women characters primarily from a pro-feminist, anti-Victorian mindset, Catriona just will not fit into that construct. Catriona is far more like a manipulative Zelda Fitzgerald than a reasoned Eleanor Roosevelt. She snivels behind a closed door to make herself appear a misunderstood lady of good breeding, exhibits unwarranted jealousy toward Barbara Grant, and switches from love to hatred of David from chapter to chapter and even page to page. She deliberately jumps from a ship which is taking her to a place of safety into a small boat taking her to a place where she does not know the language and has no money. This shows her not to be a risk-taking woman, but a she-cat at the mercy of her busy emotions. She has all the earmarks of a Borderline Disorder Personality. A strong feminist character would be more sublime. It would be better to read 'Catriona' as the continuation of the journey of a naive narrator who is not a good judge of those whom he must trust whether it be family, clan, king, friend, or the entire judicial system of Scotland. 'Catriona' simply continues his education in the ways of the world by extending to beauty what Stevenson had already proven to be true of the clans and factions of the eighteenth-century Scottish male. Davie simply cannot trust his naive view of life, loyalty, and love. McCracken-Flesher comments specifically on a passage near the end of the book where Davie invites Catriona to accompany him to visit her just-as-treacherous father, to which she coyly agrees, 'If it be your pleasure.' To this, Davie, in an aside to the reader, remarks, 'These were early days.' McCracken-Flesher believes this passage proves that 'narrating from a distance of years, [David] has grown into a fuller understanding of gender relationships and married roles.' Possibly. But I think it just as likely to indicate that it will take the naive Davie many years to understand what the sympathetic reader was aware of by the end of Part I: alas, Catriona's words do not match her agenda. That Davie falls for her shows not that women can be just as strong as men, but that they can be just as treacherous.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2003

    fantastic sequel

    True Stevenson fans will relish this continuation of the story began in Kidnapped. I loved the innocent interplay of the passion developing between David and Catronia. Alan Breck has a few interesting pages as well. Drenched in old Scot vernacular, you will not be disappointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2010

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