Sir Walter Scott Famous Scots Series
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He kept up his prodigious output of fiction as well as producing a non-fiction biography of Napoleon Bonaparte until By then his health was failing, and he died at Abbotsford in Though not in the clear by then, his novels continued to sell, and he made good his debts from beyond the grave. He was buried in Dryburgh Abbey where nearby, fittingly, a large statue can be found of William Wallace- one of Scotland's most romantic historical figures.
Assessment From being one of the most popular novelists of the 19th century, Scott suffered from a disastrous decline in popularity after the First World War. The tone was set early on in E. Forster's classic "Aspects of the Novel" , where Scott was savaged as being a clumsy writer who wrote slapdash, badly plotted novels.
Sir Walter Scott Famous Scots Series by George Saintsbury, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®
Scott also suffered from the rising star of Jane Austen. Considered merely an entertaining "woman's novelist" in the 19th century, in the 20th Austen began to be seen as perhaps the major English novelist of the first few decades of the 19th century. As Austen's star rose, Scott's sank, although, ironically, he had been one of the few male writers of his time to recognize Austen's genius. Scott's many flaws ponderousness, prolixity, lack of humor were fundamentally out of step with Modernist sensibilities.
Nevertheless, Scott was responsible for two major trends that carry on to this day. First, he essentially invented the modern historical novel; an enormous number of imitators and imitators of imitators would appear in the 19th century. It is a measure of Scott's influence that Edinburgh's central railway station, opened in for the North British Railway, is called the Waverley Station.
Second, his Scottish novels followed on from James Macpherson's Ossian cycle in rehabilitating the public perception of Highland culture after years in the shadows following southern distrust of hill bandits and the Jacobite rebellions.
Sir Walter Scott. By George Saintsbury. "Famous Scots Series." (Oliphant,
As enthusiastic chairman of the Celtic Society of Edinburgh he contributed to the reinvention of Scottish culture. It is worth noting, however, that Scott was a Lowland Scot, and that his re-creations of the Highlands were more than a little fanciful. His organisation of the visit of King George IV to Scotland in was a pivotal event, leading Edinburgh tailors to invent many "clan tartans" out of whole cloth, so to speak.
After being essentially unstudied for many decades, a small revival of interest in Scott's work began in the s and s. Ironically, postmodern tastes which favoured discontinuous narratives, and the introduction of the 'first person' into works of fiction were more favourable to Scott's work than Modernist tastes. Despite all the flaws, Scott is now seen as an important innovator, and a key figure in the development of Scottish and world literature. Scott was also responsible, through a series of pseudonymous letters published in the Edinburgh Weekly News in , for retaining the right of Scottish banks to issue their own banknotes, which is reflected to this day by his continued appearance on the front of all notes issued by the Bank of Scotland.
Many of his works were illustrated by his friend, William Allan. What makes Biblio different? Facebook Instagram Twitter. Sign In Register Help Cart 0. Cart 0 items. Each of his earlier novels had a historical setting in Scotland. As Walter was mindful of his popularity as a poet, he maintained his anonymity while writing novels. Author Walter was married to Charlotte Carpenter. His son Lt. Walter Scott inherited the possessions and estate of his father after his death. In , a banking crisis throughout the United Kingdom led to the shutting down of the Ballantyne printing press.
Walter was also a partner of this firm with financial interests. The collapse made him indebted and also resulted in his public ruin. Many people came forward to provide financial help to Walter, but he did not accept any of them.
Walter placed his income and house in a trust fund owned by his creditors. He was determined to overcome all his debt through his writing and produced 6 novels, 2 short stories, 2 plays, a journal, and 11 volumes of nonfiction between and At the time of his death, he still owed money to debtors. But, his books continued selling and all his debts were discharged soon after he breathed his last.
It was first released in and re-released by Penguin Books in The novel opens by introducing Edward Waverly as a gentleman from England. When on leave from his training, Waverly visits his family friends in Scotland. Shortly after, Waverly finds himself surrounded by the loyalists of Bonnie Prince Charlie. While in battle, Waverly comes across 2 women and falls in love with one of them.
When he shows gentlemanly actions, he gains friends on both sides of the Jacobite uprising. These friends come to his help when he faces risk from the government after the uprising subsides. It was also published anonymously in This novel appeared in 3 different volumes in London and Edinburgh. The first edition had copies and the second and third editions had copies together.
The daily drill practices that year, starting at 5am before the working day provide an indication of the determination with which this role was undertaken. He served with this volunteer force into the early s. As a boy, youth, and young man, Scott was fascinated by the oral traditions of the Scottish Borders. He was an obsessive collector of stories, and developed an innovative method of recording what he heard at the feet of local story-tellers using carvings on twigs, to avoid the disapproval of those who believed that such stories were neither for writing down nor for printing.
He then published an idiosyncratic three-volume set of collected ballads of his adopted home region, Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border. This was the first sign from a literary standpoint of his interest in Scottish history. As a result of his early polio infection, Scott had a pronounced limp. He was described in as tall, well formed except for one ankle and foot which made him walk lamely , neither fat nor thin, with forehead very high, nose short, upper lip long and face rather fleshy, complexion fresh and clear, eyes very blue, shrewd and penetrating, with hair now silvery white.
Unable to consider a military career, Scott enlisted as a volunteer in the 1st Lothian and Border yeomanry. After three weeks of courtship, Scott proposed and they were married on Christmas Eve in St Mary's Church, Carlisle a church set up in the now destroyed nave of Carlisle Cathedral. They had five children, of whom four survived by the time of Scott's death, most baptised by an Episcopalian clergyman.
In his early married days Scott had a decent living from his earnings at the law, his salary as Sheriff-Depute, his wife's income, some revenue from his writing, and his share of his father's rather meagre estate. After their third son was born in , they moved to a spacious three-storey house built for Scott at 39 North Castle Street. This remained Scott's base in Edinburgh until , when he could no longer afford two homes. From Scott had spent the summers in a cottage at Lasswade , where he entertained guests including literary figures, and it was there that his career as an author began.
There were nominal residency requirements for his position of Sheriff-Depute, and at first he stayed at a local inn during the circuit. In he ended his use of the Lasswade cottage and leased the substantial house of Ashestiel , 6 miles 9. It was sited on the south bank of the River Tweed , and the building incorporated an old tower house.
John", and his poetry then began to bring him to public attention. In , The Lay of the Last Minstrel captured wide public imagination, and his career as a writer was established in spectacular fashion. He published many other poems over the next ten years, including the popular The Lady of the Lake , printed in and set in the Trossachs. Portions of the German translation of this work were set to music by Franz Schubert. Marmion , published in , produced lines that have become proverbial. Canto VI. Stanza 17 reads:. A Palmer too! No wonder why I felt rebuked beneath his eye. In Scott persuaded James Ballantyne and his brother to move to Edinburgh and to establish their printing press there.
He became a partner in their business. As a political conservative,  Scott helped to found the Tory Quarterly Review , a review journal to which he made several anonymous contributions.
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Scott was also a contributor to the Edinburgh Review , which espoused Whig views. Scott was ordained as an elder in the Presbyterian Duddingston Kirk in ,  and sat in the General Assembly for a time as representative elder of the burgh of Selkirk.
In Scott was offered the position of Poet Laureate. He declined, due to concerns that "such an appointment would be a poisoned chalice", as the Laureateship had fallen into disrepute, due to the decline in quality of work suffered by previous title holders, "as a succession of poetasters had churned out conventional and obsequious odes on royal occasions. Although Scott had attained worldwide celebrity through his poetry, he soon tried his hand at documenting his researches into the oral tradition of the Scottish Borders in prose fiction—stories and novels—at the time still considered aesthetically inferior to poetry above all to such classical genres as the epic or poetic tragedy as a mimetic vehicle for portraying historical events.
In an innovative and astute action, he wrote and published his first novel , Waverley , anonymously in It was a tale of the Jacobite rising of Its English protagonist, Edward Waverley, like Don Quixote a great reader of romances, has been brought up by his Tory uncle, who is sympathetic to Jacobitism , although Edward's own father is a Whig.
The youthful Waverley obtains a commission in the Whig army and is posted in Dundee. On leave, he meets his uncle's friend, the Jacobite Baron Bradwardine and is attracted to the Baron's daughter Rose. On a visit to the Highlands, Edward overstays his leave and is arrested and charged with desertion but is rescued by the Highland chieftain Fergus MacIvor and his mesmerizing sister Flora, whose devotion to the Stuart cause, "as it exceeded her brother's in fanaticism, excelled it also in purity".
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Through Flora, Waverley meets Bonnie Prince Charlie , and under her influence goes over to the Jacobite side and takes part in the Battle of Prestonpans. He escapes retribution, however, after saving the life of a Whig colonel during the battle. Waverley whose surname reflects his divided loyalties eventually decides to lead a peaceful life of establishment respectability under the House of Hanover rather than live as a proscribed rebel.