‘I think it the best Scots romance since The Master of
Ballantrae,’ said John Buchan, when he read the first edition of
Flemington in 1911. Violet Jacob’s fifth novel is a tragic drama of the
period around and following the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, tightly written,
poetic in its symbolic intensity, leavened by flashes of humour.
Flemington is set in and around Montrose on the east coast of
Scotland. Although she spent much of her life outside Scotland, Violet Jacob
had family connections with the area, and especially with the House of Dun,
which stands to the north of the Montrose Basin and figures, as the House of
Balnillo, in key scenes of the novel. One of her ancestors, David Erskine, the
thirteenth Laird of Dun, is the model for Lord Balnillo in the novel.
This is not, however, a dry historical reconstruction but a story of
action and intrigue, in which powerful characters are driven against each other
by the political turmoil of their times. Dr Carol Anderson of the Department of
Scottish Literature of the University of Glasgow, an expert on Violet Jacob and
other twentieth-century women writers, provides an introduction drawing
attention to the literary qualities of the text and full explanatory notes for
this new edition of a novel which has been too long out of print.
Typeset by Roger Booth Associates, Hassocks, Sussex. Printed by
Last updated 10 August 2010.