The Monastery

The Monastery

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"The story revolves around the abbey of Kennaquhair, which Scott based on Melrose Abbey in the Scottish borders. As the Reformation takes hold, the monastic community comes increasingly under threat from the new doctrines. The hero, Halbert Glendinning is the son of a soldier who has died fighting for the monastery. He and his brother Edward are brought up within the grounds of Kennaquhair along with the orphan Mary Avenel, who has been cheated out of her inheritance by her uncle Julian, a ruthless Border baron. Both brothers are in love with Mary, but it is Halbert that wins her favour. An English knight Sir Piercie Shafton flees the court of Queen Elizabeth, having being implicated in a Catholic plot, and takes refuges in the monastery. He sets about wooing the indifferent Mary Avenel, which, along with his arrogant behaviour, angers Halbert. Further antagonism between the two is stirred by the White Lady, a supernatural guardian spirit of the destinies of the House of Avenel, who is opposed to the union of Mary and Halbert. A duel results, and believing he has killed his rival, Halbert flees. He subsequently converts to Protestantism and enters the service of the Earl of Murray, half-brother to Mary Queen of Scots. Shafton, though, is miraculously cured by the White Lady, but his continuing presence at Kennaquhair creates trouble with the English court. He finally surrenders to Murray; his claims to high birth are exposed as false, and he is sent into exile. Halbert has risen so rapidly in Murray's favour that he sanctions his marriage with Mary Avenel (whom the White Lady has caused to be converted to Protestantism). The disappointed Edward Glendinning takes monastic orders and will reappear as the title character in Scott's next novel The Abbot." -- http://www.walterscott.lib.ed.ac.uk
Publisher: New York City, New York : P. F. Collier & Son, [date of publication not identified]
Characteristics: 481 pages :,illustrations ;,21 cm

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