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Sir Walter Scott

Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832), Scottish writer and poet and one of the greatest historical novelists.

Scott was born on August 15, 1771, in Edinburgh as the son of a solicitor Walter Scott and Anne, a daughter of professor of medicine. An early illness left him lame in the right leg, but he grew up to be a man over six feet and great physical endurance. Scott's interest in the old Border tales and ballads had early been awakened, and he devoted much of his leisure to the exploration of the Border country. He attended Edinburgh High School and studied at Edinburgh University arts and law. Scott was apprenticed to his father in 1786 and in 1792 he was called to the bar. In 1799 he was appointed sheriff depute of the county of Selkirk. In 1797 Scott married Margaret Charlotte Charpenter. They had five children.

In 1802-03 Scott's first major work, Minstrelsy Of The Scottish Border appeared. As a poet Scott rose into fame with the publication of The Lay Of The Last Minstrel (1805) about an old border country legend. It became a huge success and made him the most popular author of the day. It was followed by Marmion (1808), a historical romance in tetrameter. The Lady In The Lake appeared in 1810 and Rokeby in 1813. Scott's last major poem, The Lord Of The Isles, was published in 1815.

In 1806 Scott became clerk to the Court of Session in Edinburgh. To increase his income he started a printing and publishing business with his friend James Ballantyne. The enterprise crashed and Scott accepted all debts and tried to pay them off with his writings.

In the 1810s Scott published several novels. From this period date such works as Waverley (1814), dealing with the rebellion of 1745, which attempted to restore a Scottish family to the British throne. Scott continued with Guy Mannering (1815) and Tales Of My Landlord (1816). Rob Roy (1817) a portrait of one of Scotland's greatest heroes, sold out its edition of 10 000 copies in two weeks. The Heart of Midlothianappeared in 1818 followed by The Bride Of Lammermoor (1819) and A Legend Of Montrose (1819). Ivanhoe (1819) set in the reign of Richard I is perhaps the best known of Scott's novels today. In the 1820s appeared Kenilworth (1821), The Fortunes Of Nigel (1822), Peveril Of The Peak (1823), Quentin Durward (1823), The Talisman (1825), Woodstock (1826), The Surgeon's Daughter (1827), and Anne Of Geierstein (1829).

In 1820 Scott was created a baronet. A few years later he founded the Bannatyne Club, which published old Scottish documents. Scott visited France in 1826 to collect material for his Life Of Napoleon, which was published in 9 volumes in 1827. His wife, Lady Scott, died in 1826, and the author himself had a stroke in 1830. Next year Scott sailed to Italy. After his return to England in 1832, he died on September 21. Scott was buried beside his ancestors in Dryburgh Abbey.

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Walter Scott and bombast

Walter Scott was the most popular novelist of all time, based on percentage of novels sold that were penned by him. He was also a renowned poet. His reputation has waned over the past century or so, as critics have preferred psychological nuance and realism to adventure and bombast. G.K. Chesterton (writing about Scott) said that he who fears bombast will never rise to eloquence. Scott (like Shakespeare before him, but unlike some who followed) never feared bombast. His descriptive prose was serviceable at best – a bit long-winded and polysyllabic for modern tastes. But his characters could speechify like nobody’s business. From memory (I’m too lazy to look them up...

Great little book about Scott

'1814 Year of Waverley' by Christopher Harvie is in the Clan Scotland series, a series about Scottish culture and history with an accompanying online resource, and is aimed partly at young people. It tries to show people a 'way into' Scott, and to show how the themes of 'Waverley' are still relevant today. Also has lots of information about Scott's cultural context and influence. An excellent book: I learned a lot.

Scott in Badenoch

Can anyone help me with dates for Scott's visit(s) to Badenoch and what he wrote as a consequence?...


Finally wrote a chapter of the novel is not more than 10,000 words, I have only one sentence: Johnson! Today is Tagore, Tchaikovsky, Brahms their birthday type! There are 6 ...... 6 ...... Chen Paida 2002/5/7...

Works of Sir Walter Scott

I have a set of 12 Works of Walter Scott, The National Library Company New York, Set # 82 of 1000 sets published Edition Deluxe I was wondering if anyone would know the value of such an item. The pages for most of the books, have never been sliced open the top is gold gilded. In mint condition except for a few minor breaks on the spines which are just brittle from age. Ray...

The Pirate

Anyone read it?...

The Pirate by Sir Walter Scott

I have been searching for The Pirate for some time at many of the public domain sites I frequent. I have also checked out some online bookstores and am surprised at the high prices asked for this book (at one store they were selling the two volumes seperately for almost $30 each). Why is this novel so rare? I can easily find other books online by Scott, and this one is certainly old enough to have been placed into public domain. If anyone can point me in a new direction, I would appreciate it very much....

more info on a book

I have a copy of ivanhoe that had no publication date i know it has to be older then 1912 because the old owner wrote there name the place they lived and the date of purchuse which was Febuary 1st 1912 on the inide cover it's in really good shape but i would like to find out how old the book really is and how much it would be worth if you can help please let me know thanx...

Sir Walter Scott?

7Dark orange Who wrote the lines "Breathes there the man whose soul so dead"? What is the full text of the poem?...

Walter Scott's journal

I think without question his greatest work. Started in his 50's shortly before his bankruptcy it is the work of a great man. Intended for publication it should be viewed with his novels as part of his output....

Which is your favourite?

Between all of Scott's writings (poems and all included), which is the best? I've only read Ivanhoe so far, so I can't judge....

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