The betrothed is Eveline, daughter of a Norman noble, who is a victim of the Crusade in that her intended husband is required by the Church to fulfil his vow to join the war and departs for three years. The full horror of an arranged marriage, and of being a possible prize as men seek to gain possession of her is vividly realised--the heroine is never free; her fate is always determined by the agency of men. And being set on the Marches of Wales, it is not just men but differing cultures that strive for mastery over her. The Betrothed is a problem novel: as Scott was writing he himself was arranging the marriage of his elder son. It is a problem novel too in that it was deeply disliked by Scott's printer and publisher who forced significant changes. What Scott was required to do to meet their objections has been confronted for the first time in this, the first critical edition of the novel.