The Bride of Lammermoor

The Bride of Lammermoor

by Sir Walter Scott
3.7 8

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The Bride of Lammermoor by Sir Walter Scott

The story recounts 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 and evil perpetrator of the whole intrigue, haughty and manipulative in her objective to cancel the initial happy engagement between Edgar and Lucy and forcing the latter to a speedily arranged marriage with the Laird of Bucklaw. In the climax, when the intrigue takes its full course and the wedding celebrations have been held, Lucy stabs the bridegroom, severely wounding him, and descends quickly into insanity and dies. In the story, Caleb Balderstone, an eccentric old Ravenswood family retainer, provides some comic relief.

The story is fictional, but was based (Scott tells us) on an actual incident in the history of the Dalrymple family.

In the mid-17th century, Janet, the eldest daughter of Sir James Dalrymple was betrothed to David Dunbar, heir of Sir David Dunbar of Baldoon. As was the custom, the marriage was arranged by her parents but Janet loved Archibald, third Lord Rutherford, even though his family was virtually penniless. Janet's parents had no use for poor Archibald. They forbade the relationship, insisting that she marry David. Out of duty to the tradition, Janet married David in the church of Old Luce, two miles from her home at Carsecleugh Castle. It was a hot summer day, but her brothers both recollect that Janet's hands were "cold as ice," as she walked down the aisle. "I don't want to be with him," Janet said to them. The same night, after the married couple entered the bedchamber at Baldoon Castle, screaming was heard from the room. When the door was forced open, the staff found Dunbar stabbed and nearly dead. Young Janet was bloodied and clasping a knife, raving and crying. She was judged to be insane and died within a month.

Several versions of the story are told that describe the events that occurred in the bedchamber at Baldoon Castle. In the first, the bride stabbed her bridegroom in the bridal chamber and died of insanity. The second version sees a disappointed Archibald concealed in the chamber who stabs the bridegroom and escapes through the window into the garden. Local tradition adds a third take on the tale, that it was the Devil who killed Dunbar and who tormented Janet until she became demented.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940014606820
Publisher: DB Publishing House
Publication date: 07/11/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 348
File size: 981 KB

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The Bride Of Lammermoor 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Seems to be readable with only occasional mis-scanned glitches.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was about to read said "synopsis" but thankfully I saw your post first so was saved the ruined ending. Thank you for alerting me (and any other potential reader.) I agree. It is in very bad form and very rude to give away the ending of a book. It deprives us the enjoyment of discovering out for ourselves what is coming. I wish more people would think of others before they thoughtlessly write things like that.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
(*Sigh*) Well, what now is the point of actually reading this book, since you've just killed any suspense this story might have held? Is there some reason you felt compelled to publish the ending??? Does anyone on this planet understand that publshing the ending of a novel within a "synopsis" without a spoiler alert is just plain arrogance and bad manners? Try to understand that not everyone may have actually READ this story yet!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Walter Scott's THE BRIDE OF LAMMERMOOR is based on a real, though variously reported incident in 17th Century Scottish history, the Dalrymple tragedy. In 1669 Janet Dalrymple, daughter of Viscount Stair, married David Dunbar. Earlier she had been secretly engaged to Lord Rutherford. Pressure from parents had forced her to back out of that commitment. On the wedding night the groom was found stabbed and the unwilling bride cowering insane in a bedroom fireplace. He recovered but would never discuss what had happened. Janet died within three weeks. This tale Walter Scott heard as a young boy from both a great aunt and his mother. The facts of the case tied the novelist's hands regarding the fate of Janet- derived Lucy Ashton: there could be no happy ending. In an 1828 essay the future Cardinal John Henry Newman said that, like HAMLET's Ophelia and like Romeo and Juliet, Lucy is 'too good for the termination to which the plot leads. ... in these cases there is something inconsistent with correct beauty, and therefore unpoetical.' In other words, God, the author of all beauty, could not have intended such an ending. *** This thought helps us understand the unrelenting religious dimension of THE BRIDE OF LAMMERMOOR -- Lammermoor being an area of southeastern Scotland near 'the German Sea.' 17 year old Lucy Ashton, of a rigorously Presbyterian, politically Whig family, falls in love with young Edgar Ravenswood, last, impoverished but proud and vengeful representative of one of Scotland's oldest, noblest families. His father Alan has just died at novel's beginning, driven to a bitter death by the unabating and successful effort of Lucy's father, Sir William Ashton, to acquire almost all the Ravenswoods' estates, including its principal residence. *** Sir WIlliam is also a local magistrate and he upholds a petition by local Presbyterians to prevent an Episcopal priest's officiating at Cavalier Alan Ravenswood's funeral. Through a series of complex developments Edgar saves the life of Sir William and Lucy from an angry bull. The two young people fall in love and plight their troths. Sir WIlliam sees possible political advantage to a marriage but Lucy's arrogant, dominating, noble Douglas mother Lady Eleanor returns post-haste from London and circles near Queen Anne to break the engagement so that Lucy can marry a man of mother's choosing. *** A Presbyterian clergyman upholds the right of a father 'obviously henpecked' to break a daughter's pledge to marry without his consent, citing NUMBERS XXX: 2-5. *** In a dramatic scene on the day Lucy reluctantly signs her marriage papers, Edgar Ravenswood breaks in and demands to know if she wants him to renounce his previous rights. She is silent but obeys her mother and father. Referring to the Ashtons' use of Scripture, Edgar erupts to Lucy: 'And is this all? ... Are you willing to barter sworn faith, the exercise of free-will, and the feelings of mutual affection, to this wretched hypocritical sophistry?' 'Vol. III. Ch. 33' *** Lucy weds her mother's choice and a few days later on their bridal night stabs him. Challenged to duels by both groom and Lucy's brother, Colonel Ashton, Edgar races from his family's last property, Wolfscrag Tower high above the sea, to meet Colonel Ashton. He ignores a dangerous sea driven by the east wind to narrow the always small space left below a cliff for safe passage and rides his horse into deep quicksand. Neither man nor horse is recovered. *** This is also a Gothic novel with omens piled upon omens, dire prophecies just daring free-will not to see them fulfilled, politics of Scotland just before its dissolution into the 1707 United Kingdom. And, of course, this novel produced the most famous of the 85 operas derived from Sir Walter Scott, Donizetti's LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR. This is Walter Scott at his