This is a continuation of the previous article which I wrote on this subject named Miss Die Vernon. The subject was the novel Rob Roy by Walter Scott. At the time, I was only so far into the book, and was commenting on the tendency even in “classic” literature of masculizing women. I have now progressed to the end of the book and found it a grave disappointment and probably a sin.
There are many books like this. The language is beautiful (if you overlook the vulgarity and blasphemy), the plot is intricate (if you overlook the snobbishness), and the characters are deep (if you overlook the predictability). Great Expectations was like this. I think it is a matter of worldview that makes these books so profound to some. Atlas Shrugged is another example. One of those is for Conservatives and the other for Liberals (called “classical”), counterfeit moralists, the lowest of the low (because they are the highest in their own eyes), but I think Rob Roy is for Englishmen. It is written in 1817 as England approached the advent of its great empire, after the War of 1812 (for Americans to get themselves oriented), and is set a hundred years before that, right after the “Glorious” Revolution. Now, that revolution was itself after the bloody series of Civil Wars in England, which resulted directly from the Protestant Revolution two hundred years before the events of the novel.
By the time the novel begins, England has bowed down to the Puritan way of doing business without pursuit of Heaven. This is to what the “Glorious” Revolution refers. It refers to Calvinists in England replacing the monarchy and removing the rightful monarch. This is what allowed London bankers and traders to have such supremacy in England, Britain, and the world, over the next two hundred years.
The events of the novel follow the son of a prominent trader in London. The trader is obsessed with his trading, and is presented as a sort of moral figure, having been banished from his father’s holdings in Northumberland because of his leaving the Catholic Church. The son is himself an aspiring poet and gives many indications of sympathy to Catholics which is what seduced me into reading the remainder of the book. He is banished to Northumberland because of his lack of interest in business, and there he becomes embroiled in a series of plots revolving around Catholic villains (the main one being a seminarian and only incidentally not a priest). The Catholics launch a revolt that is the grand mystery, but as for the main character, by the end of the novel, he has seduced his Catholic cousin into marrying him while the rest of his uncle’s family of Northumberland is destroyed. He takes their lands, directly causes the death of the remaining heir, and presumably draws Miss Die Vernon away from her faith.
It is a despicable novel. The title character appears only rarely, and he is himself an outlaw and Catholic. This also serves to draw Catholics in because of the sympathy it suggests to their religion, but it is very obvious that the author has this sympathy entirely for the purpose of destroying the faith of Catholics.
This is typical in England. It is a problem also with C.S. Lewis (and possibly Tolkien, although I have not yet done enough research). It is the problem with the whole art form of the novel. It began from biography, which itself came from hagiography, but was invented by the Protestants, since they had no saints and hence no hagiography.
England itself is the worst and most dangerous of Protestant traditions, besides America, its bastard offspring. This is because it was the first to mix together the True Religion with the new false ones, mimicking what Simon Magus did with the Gospel of the Apostles, which he must have taken from his Samaritan heritage, since that nation had done the same since it broke off from Solomon’s son in rebellion, which makes it a great parallel for understanding the sad tragedy of England.
Our Lady seemed to promise England’s conversion if we had hearkened to her one hundred and seventy-odd years ago in Her apparitions in France. We have a similar instance with Russia about a hundred years ago. Perhaps next it will be America, but I do not hold my breath on that one.