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Thread: Waverley

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    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    Waverley

    I started reading Waverley, which strangely does not have its own subforum. I am enjoying it so far. The writing is a little dense and it moves slowly. If reading last thing at night, you are likely to fall asleep before finishing the chapter. It is good though. I can see why Scott was so popular if this is typical of his work. Scott paints very vivid pictures of characters and scenes. He really did take his time. The dialogue is better than I expected. I read a quote by Scott in which he admitted he was not as good as dialogue as Jane Austen, which made me suspect his dialogue was a bit wooden or creaky, but it seems pretty good to me.

    The story is set at the time of the Jacobite rising in 1745. The same period of time as Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson and The History of Tom Jones by Richard Fielding. The Jacobite rising did not play a big part in Tom Jones, however.

    I was wondering a bit about the Scottish dialogue. I have only got to the part where Waverley is a guest of his uncle's friend. Things get a bit out of hand at a drinking den. They do not seem to be speaking Scots; should they be? They seem to be speaking Scottish English. Waverley was speaking to Scottish gentry, and Waverley is an English guest so maybe they would more likely keep to standard English for those reasons. Anyway, I don't suppose Walter Scott would want to write dialogue most his readers could not understand.
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

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    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    Glad you like it. Things get going once you meet a man in a kilt.

    I’m fascinated by an author who was once compared to Shakespeare and has virtually now sunk without a trace.

    Incidentally, Scott himself mentions in Redgauntlet he expects his readers to skip when reading.
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

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    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    I have to say Scott is one of the most painstaking writers I have come across. He really does paint a picture with a 100,000 brush strokes. Waverley seems to me like an anti-Hearts of Darkness book. The further up the river Captain Marlow went, the more you worried he'd end up being turned on a spit. The more Captain Waverley goes up the river, the lovelier the ladies he meets. Not only are they beautiful, but they can compose Gaelic verse on the spot. Well probably, I expect they could turn in some half decent doggerel given half an hour.. I expected Waverley's biggest threat is getting court-martialled for going over to the other side,
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

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    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    Scott did two sorts of heroine. The drippy one (Rose, Rowena) and the feisty one (Flora, Rebecca). I'll leave you to guess which one the hero ends up with.

    Do keep me posted how you go.
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

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    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    I noticed some of the Scots speak proper impenetrable Scots. The Highlanders apparently spoke both Gaelic and Scots, although I have not read any examples of Gaelic, just heard it being referred to. Luckily Fergus and Flora mac Ivor mostly speak English. Fergus sometimes quotes French. Baron Bradwardine quoted Latin a lot.

    I suspect Waverley ends up with Rose, which seems a good choice. She is level-headed, sensible, and writes a nice letter. Marrying an insurrectionist: not a good idea.
    Last edited by kev67; 08-22-2020 at 06:35 PM.
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

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    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    I love the Scottish expressions in Stevenson´s and Walter Scott´s novels. But I never heard someone speak Scottish. I think, I met only one Scott in my life and he was an English teacher. So he spoke English.
    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

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    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    Things are getting sticky for young Waverley, but I suppose he will be alright. I am more worried about Cosmo Comyne Bradwardine and Fergus Mac-Ivor. If they take on the red coats, it won't be good for their health, wealth and happiness.

    It seems like a really stupid idea anyway. I suppose Charles Stuart was a Catholic. If they had succeeded in replacing King George with Charles Stuart they would likely unleash a religious war. Not even all Scots wanted the Stuarts back. Besides taking on King George, the Jacobites would have had to take on all the Parliamentary forces, who have more men, more money and more resources. The Jacobites would lose. I gather from reading The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, that the Jacobites reached as far as Derby. They counted on a portion of the English rising to support them. I gather plenty of English did not like King George much, but they would need some sort of leadership, and some sort of plan.

    I suppose Flora and Rose will be alright, unless Flora does something desperate. I don't suppose the red coats would hang a woman.

    Actually, my home town Reading (well my adopted home town) was a scene of a battle between King James II's forces and King William of Orange's. King James II was the grandfather of Bonnie Prince Charlie, who tried to take the throne in 1745. He was deposed because he converted to Catholicism. 280 Dutch soldiers fought 600 Irish soldiers. The townsmen supported King William.
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

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    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danik 2016 View Post
    I love the Scottish expressions in Stevenson´s and Walter Scott´s novels. But I never heard someone speak Scottish. I think, I met only one Scott in my life and he was an English teacher. So he spoke English.
    Scots is the name of the language of Burns and the Scots characters in Walter Scott, sometimes called Lallans (ie Lowlands). It is mutually comprehensible with English English, and many English think of it as "English with a Scottish accent", which would offend many Scots and irritate more. As well as characteristic words (wee for small, lassie for girl, etc) it has its own spelling conventions.

    Catholic Highlanders at the upper level, like Fergus and Flora may well have been educated in France and would have had a considerable degree of culture more than their English and Lowlands equivalents. (Not that there would have been an exact social equivalent for the lairds of a feudal society.)
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

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    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kev67 View Post
    The Jacobites would lose. I gather from reading The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, that the Jacobites reached as far as Derby. They counted on a portion of the English rising to support them. I gather plenty of English did not like King George much, but they would need some sort of leadership, and some sort of plan.
    They did indeed kev and the town museum at Derby used to have a lot about them (as well canvases by Joseph Wright of Derby).
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

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    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    This is the best bit so far. Waverley is being accompanied, against his will, by members of the Cameron sect, who are even stricter and more severe than presbyterians. The leader of the group is a preacher nicknamed Gifted Gilfallan. They have just recently been joined by a pedlar, who asked to walk with them for safety.

    Such was the situation of matters, when the pedlar missing, as he said, a little doggie which belonged to him, began to halt and whistle for it. This repeated more than once gave offence to the rigour of his companion, the rather because it appeared to indicate inattention to the treasures of theological and controversial knowledge which he was pouring out for his edification. He therefore signalled gruffly, that he could not waste his time in waiting for a useless cur.

    “But if your honour wad consider the case of Tobit”---

    “Tobit!” exclaimed Gilfillan, with great heat; “Tobit and his dog both are altogether heathenish and apocryphal, and none but a prelatist or a papist would draw them into question.
    I doubt I ha;’e been mista’en in you, friend”

    “Very like,” answered the pedlar, with great composure, “but ne’ertheless I shall take leave to whistle again upon poor Bawty.”
    Last edited by kev67; 08-28-2020 at 07:51 PM.
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

  11. #11
    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    I am about half way through, and one thing I've noticed is that, for all the conflict, nobody has actually been killed yet. If anyone has it was not clear. Presumably that won't keep up to the end. I think it would have changed the tone of the book if anyone had been killed. Parts are almost comedy at present.
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

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    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    Flora MacIvor has Waverley worked out. He's a strange sort of protagonist. He is not really a hero, more a witness to the heroes around him. It is mainly his curiosity that got him into trouble. He is honourable, but he does not feel things particularly strongly. He has compromised himself pretty badly, however.
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

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    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    Nearly at the end. I thought Waverley and Baron Bradwardine got off quite lightly. Mind you, I recently read Claire Tomalin's biography of Samuel Peyps, whose heydey was in the Restoration. Various people who were active on the Parliamentarian side during the civil war and the Interregnum smoothed things over with Charles II. Only the hardliners and the hard cases were put to death. That's what I understand, but I have not read much about it.

    I do think the Jacobite Rebellion was a desperate venture. If they were counting on an uprising from the English population to help them, they got that pretty wrong. Apart from that, they would have wanted to replace a constitutional monarch with an absolute monarch. That's not progress. King George II might not have been very popular with the Tory squires, but at least he did not have unfettered power. Can you imagine what English people would think to see their country invaded by a Scottish army, who wanted to overthrow the constitution, replace the King, reimpose Catholicism as the state religion, and probably set alight a new civil war? They may have stood a better chance if France had invaded the same time, but they would probably have failed too, and then the reprisals against the Highlanders would have been even worse. Maybe they should just have tried to overthrow Scotland, but not all Scots wanted Charles Stuart as king. Many Scots were Protestants and they would not have wanted him.

    I was thinking, as it turned out, Baron Bradwardine could not have saved his estate anyway, but before he took part in that ill conceived venture, he could have married Flora Mac Ivor. He's too old for her, but she was more interested in Jacobite zeal than youthful good looks, and the Baron had plenty of zeal. Then he might have had a son and his state would not pass on to his distant relative.
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

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