Pride of the Clan

The Pride of the Clan is a very simple story -- indeed its main outline could almost be described in a sentence -- but it is a story lending itself so freely to pictorial illustration and to the development of character that the spectator, carried away by the art of the producer and his company, fails to observe the slender nature of the fabric in his appreciation of the beauty of the ornamentation and the richness of its embroidery.
The author has imagined some outlying Scottish island, which, like St Kilda or Pitcairn, is peopled by the members of one clan of which the heroine is the hereditary chief. Her authority is absolute and unquestioned, and even when she interferes with their ordinary Sabbath occupations of mending nets or exchanging gossip by driving them to the church with a dog-whip, she retains their loyal and unfaltering devotion. While dispensing impartial justice she has her own favourites, and with the perversity of her sex her special favour lights on one honest gawky youth, with whom she breaks a sixpence of the festival of St. Collun. The course of true love runs smoothly for a time, and the question of chief importance seems to be whether, after marriage, she shall keep house in the cottage he shares with his ancient relatives, or whether he will take up his quarters in the old boat moored to the seashore, which she has inherited from her father, and where she lives with the cat and the goat and the duck which complete her domestic circle.
Their dreams of domestic bliss are disturbed by the arrival of a yacht, from which lands a beautiful and fashionably attired lady, who takes an unusual interest in Peg's rustic lover. This turns out to be his own mother, who had married a second time without disclosing to her husband the fact that she had a son brought up from his birth by Scottish fisherfolk. Her husband, on learning the fact, had readily agreed to rescue him from his humble condition. but they had no wish that he should retain any ties with the people amongst whom he had been brought up.
Peg is, therefore, rather bluntly told that she it is her duty to relinquish her claims and set him free to follow a life with a wider scope. She makes the sacrifice, but when left alone she finds that she cannot bear to carry on her usual existence amongst her own people, and cutting her old boat loose from its moorings she decides to go where the sea will carry her. The old rotten vessel soon proves unseaworthy, her perilous plight is discovered from shore and from the yacht, which is already under weigh, and after a sensational experience she is ultimately rescued by her lover and taken on board the yacht, where she is affectionately welcomed by those who realise that many waters cannot quench woe.
Though the story is slight and at times shows weakness of construction, it is rendered of interest by skilful character drawing, the truth of its local colour, and the fine realism of its scenic effects.
Beyond everything, however, it is lifted out of the ordinary groove by the personality and consummate art of Miss Pickford. Every varying shade of her art is shown with convincing effect, and from delicate comedy to pathos and the verge of tragedy the spectator is carried along with that sense of satisfaction which is only imparted by the highest achievements of Nature and art.

TitlePride of the Clan
SourceThe Bioscope