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COPYRIGHT, 1886, 1923, BY GINN AND COMPANY
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
The Athen æum Press
BY CHARLOTTE M. YONGE.
novels. It appeared in 1815, and was greeted with enthusiastic admiration. Indeed, in some respects, it stands the highest of all his works.
It only slightly connects itself with history; but it belongs to a period when the manners and customs, the opinions and way of life, were sufficiently diverse from our own to make some explanation of them needful for the enjoyment of this matchless tale. The period chosen was the middle of the eighteenth century, though the precise date is left vague; but the first chapters evidently belong to the last years of the reign of George II. In fact, as Mr. Bertram became a justice of the peace on the new reign, when his son was three or four years old, the time of the opening is pretty well fixed as 1756 or 1757, and the concluding events must have taken place in 1783 or 1784. Scott was born in 1771, so that the manners are contemporaneous, and he had lived much in his boyhood among persons from whom he diligently collected stories and traditions of the Border, as the boundary between England and Scotland was termed.
The locality chosen is the county of Galloway, the southwest corner of Scotland, which may be seen in the map to overhang, as it were, the Irish Sea, projecting beyond Cumberland, and the Solway Frith (or mouth), a sort of hammer-head towards Ireland and the Isle of Man. Ellangowan is supposed to be placed in one of the bays formed by this curious promontory.
Remote and wild as is the country, and with so large a proportion of coast, it was, a century ago, peculiarly suited to be the resort of lawless characters. Dues and customs were very high, both on account of the heavy expenses