This is the first life of Rob to written by an experienced historian, based on a full range of sources. The picture that emerges is one of a remarkable life—but not a heroic one. The picture of a man deeply wronged and oppressed, forced into outlawry, has to be modified by the clear evidence that he was only outlawed after undertaking a careful plan to swindle his creditors. The staunch Jacobite is revealed as a man who supplied intelligence to the government against them. The supposed warrior leader never fought in a battle, the reputed great duelist avoided violence whenever possible and is only known to have fought one duel—which he lost. Yet in some ways Rob remains an attractive figure. That he survived, in spite of the odds against him, is a remarkable tribute to his tenacity of both body and spirit—and to his ability to make people like and trust him, accepting his own version of his life instead of that of his enemies. With this book Scotland may lose a hero of the old-fashioned, unreal sort, but it possesses in Rob Roy a man whose true life-story as it emerges is dramatic and human.