Guy Mannering is an astrologer who only half-believes in his art. Instead he places his faith in patriarchal power, wealth and social position. But the Scotland of this novel is a nation in which the old hierarchies are breaking down and Guy must learn the limits of the nabob's authority in a society in which each social group—from gypsies and smugglers, to Edinburgh lawyers, landowners and Border store farmers—lives by its own laws.
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