The World’s Best English Epic Poetry – Scott’s The Lay of the Last Minstrel

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The world’s best English epic and narrative poetry is not complete without Scott’s The Lay of the Last Minstrel.

An old minstrel – the last of his order – is received kindly by a Scottish duchess to harp to herself and her ladies after dinner. The minstrel recounts the lay of Lady Janet Beaton of Buccleuch and her daughter Margaret: caught up in the border-feuds and bitter rivalry between murderous Scottish clans. Much blood has been shed by both the Scotts and Kerr clans: but the hatred spirals out of control when Lady Scott’s husband and Margaret’s father is waylaid and slain by Kerrs in the streets of Edinburgh.

Pretty Margaret has promised her heart to the handsome Baron Henry Cranstoun: but the Baron’s house is a traditional ally to the accursed Kerrs!

  • Are Lady Scott’s reputed powers of witchcraft real – or no more than slanderous rumor?
  • Can Henry Cranstoun possibly win the hand of the woman he loves – over the strident opposition of her mother, newly-bereaved?
  • Can Margaret and Henry’s love possibly survive against the bitter emnity separating the two warring  Scottish clans?

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Bardic Harper

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