Title: Weir of Hermiston
Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
In: Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde and Other Strange Tales (Robert Louis Stevenson)
Rating Out of 5: 3.5 (Liked this)
My Bookshelves: Classics, Easy reading
Format: Short story
Publisher: Kingsford Editions
5th sentence, 74th page: ‘I maun have forgotten to change them,’ said she; and went into prayers in her turn with a troubled mind, between anxiety as to whether Dand should have observed her yellow stockings at chuch, and should thus detect her in a palpable falsehood, and shame that she had already made good his prophecy.
The Lord Justice-Clerk was a stranger in that part of the country; but his lady wife was known there from a child, as her race had been before her.
The old “riding Rutherfords of Hermiston,” of whom she was the last descendant, had been famous men of yore, ill neighbours, ill subjects, and ill husbands to their wives though not their properties.
I didn’t love the ending of this – and then I found out that it is an unfinished work, and my dislike for the ending finally made sense. It wasn’t an ending at all, just a point at which the writing stopped. Knowing that has made me a lot more inclined to like what was written, and feel a little sad that there is no ending to be seen.
The Weir of Hermiston read like a biography – the history of the parents, the marriage, the housekeeper, were all delved into and provided a rich backdrop against which Archie is living his life. His choices, the words, the actions are all informed by his history and although I found some of the explanations a little too long winded, and, yes, tedious, it worked well in the characterisation.
It’s just a pity that it was never finished, I suppose I will just have to imagine a happy ending for myself. At least, an ending that would leave me happy anyway…
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