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Synopsis thank you for your continued support and wish to present you this new edition. It was in the year 1822 or 1823 that Galt, aged then about forty-three, and having already seen much of life in various countries and capacities, settled at Esk Grove, Musselburgh, to apply himself to writing historical fiction. He was for the moment elated – carried away, perhaps, for his temper was enthusiastic even to a fault – by the recent and deserved success of his novels of Scottish manners, Sir Andrew Wylie and The Entail; and the soaring idea appears to have entered his head of deliberately attempting to rival Scott in the very field which the Wizard had made peculiarly his own. From the point of view of prudence, though not from that of art or of sport, this enterprise was a mistake. For an author, serving as he does the public, shows no more than common sense if he endeavour to study, in the proper degree, the idiosyncrasies of that employer on whose favour his reputation, nay, perhaps the payment of his butcher's bill, depends. And it has long been observed that when the public has once made up its mind that one man is supreme in his own line, it has generally little attention to spare for those who seek to have it reconsider its decision

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