This novel, which has always been regarded as one of Scott's finest, opens with the Edinburgh riots of 1736. The people of the city have been infuriated by the actions of John Porteous, Captain of the Guard, and when they hear that his death has been reprieved by the distant monarch they ignore the Queen and resolve to take their own revenge. At the cente of the story is Edinburgh's forbidding Tolbooth prison, known by all as the Heart of Midlothian.
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