I read and thoroughly enjoyed The Black Douglas. Maid Margaret is described as the sequel to The Black Douglas, but I enjoyed it even more. The first reason is because it is a much more personal account of the turbulent times of fifteenth century Scotland, times that were dominated by the internecine war between the Douglas and Stewart Houses. The second and more important reason is because it is narrated by the Maid of Galloway herself – or by Crockett impersonating her. And what an impersonation!
After only a few pages, you’ll forget that this is a man writing as a woman. Across the lifetime of the Maid, from petulant teens to creaky dotage, you’ll experience her joys and pains and anguish. You’ll rejoice with her at love found and you’ll grieve with her at love lost. And throughout the whole of the narrative, you’ll find that Crockett does not fail in his task of being the Maid – not once. I believe he has achieved something in this book that none of his contemporaries, not even the sainted RLS, could have accomplished. He is an astonishing writer. And Maid Margaret is an astonishing book.
Review by Brendan Gisby
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