Gallowglass Summary
Ruth Rendell

Everything you need to understand or teach Gallowglass by Ruth Rendell.

  • Gallowglass Summary & Study Guide

Gallowglass Summary

The title, Gallowglass, the fourth Barbara Vine novel, comes out ofviolent tradition in Celtic history: A "gallowglass" was a chieftain's bodyguard, sworn to stand constantly at his master's right hand, ready to taste food and drink and hurl himself in front of hostile spears or battle axes. Although Vine sets her story in contemporary England, society is scarcely less violent today than in the time of the druids, allowing her to focus on the modern phenomenon of kidnapping for ransom. Her dual protagonists, who alternately narrate the novel, are two "gallowglasses" whose fates converge on the figure of a "Princess," a lovely exmodel now married to a wealthy British businessman.

Joe, who speaks first, illustrates Vine's interest in the social misfits for whom Britain's National Health Service offers too little help too late. Raised by uncaring foster parents and ejected from a psychiatric ward...

(read more from the Short Guide)

Study Pack

The Gallowglass Study Pack contains:

Gallowglass Short Guide