The Lilac Sunbonnet
Serialised and then a massive bestseller when first published in 1894, this love story contains much irony and depth as well as incredible use of natural description. The romance style hides a complex story of Scottish rural life in the early 19th century.
An idyllic love story, sweet and fresh and wholesome as the scent of the crushed bog-myrtle and heather that clothe the hills of Galloway where the story lies.
What strikes us most is the infinite charm of the pictures he describes. The author has a keen perception of the beauties of landscape, and an eye quick to note all the variety of change in the lights and shadows that come and go on hillside and mountain.
‘His sense of the beauty of landscape is both deep and minute, awake to every shade of colour, and the Scotch lochs and mountains give him room for description. The Scotch farm people, women as well as men, are excellently drawn. The story itself is truly a love story.’
A runaway bestseller, all 10,000 copies of the first edition sold out on the first day of publication and assured Crockett’s reputation as a master of the romance form. It is clearly a love story, but the couthy irony it contains redefines the concept of ‘idyllic.’ Crockett’s clever use of the romance style in the weaving of his complex story not only entertains but challenges preconceptions. His facility for natural description is as powerful as the scent of crushed bog-myrtle and as beautiful as the heather clad Galloway hills amidst which the story is told.
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