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About the Author: Walter Scott

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

Sir Walter Scott was born on August 15, 1771 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Scott created and popularized historical novels in a series called the Waverley Novels. In his novels Scott arranged the plots and characters so the reader enters into the lives of both great and ordinary people caught up in violent, dramatic changes in history.

Scott's work shows the influence of the 18th century enlightenment. He believed every human was basically decent regardless of class, religion, politics, or ancestry. Tolerance is a major theme in his historical works. The Waverley Novels express his belief in the need for social progress that does not reject the traditions of the past. He was the first novelist to portray peasant characters sympathetically and realistically, and was equally just to merchants, soldiers, and even kings.

Central themes of many of Scott's novels are about conflicts between opposing cultures. Ivanhoe (1819) is about war between Normans and Saxons. The Talisman (1825) is about conflict between Christians and Muslims. His novels about Scottish history deal with clashes between the new English culture and the old Scottish. Scott's other great novels include ,i>Old Mortality (1816), The Heart of Midlothian (1819), and St Ronan's Well (1824). His Waverley series includes Rob Roy (1817), A Legend of Montrose (1819), and Quentin Durward (1823).

Scott's amiability, generosity, and modesty made him popular with his contemporaries. He was also famous for entertaining on a grand scale at his Scottish estate, Abbotsford.


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Goodreads rating: 3.69

Hardcover, Published in Sep 2006 by Aegypan

ISBN10: 1598182137 | ISBN13: 9781598182132

Page count: 224

Although primarily remembered for his extensive literary works and his political engagement, Scott was an advocate, judge and legal administrator by profession, and throughout his career combined his writing and editing work with his daily occupation as Clerk of Session and Sheriff-Depute of Selkirkshire. The Lay of the Last Minstrel, Scott's first romantic tale, was published in January, 1805, and won for its author his first great success. Constable offered as publisher to pay at once a thousand guineas for the copyright, when he heard that the new poem was begun, though he had not yet seen a line of it. Scott, thirty-five years old, had the impulse upon his mind of a preceding great success, took more than usual pains, and thoroughly enjoyed the writing. Scott continued work while practicing with the Light Horse Volunteers (in preparation for a planned invasion of France!), and in intervals between drill he would sometimes ride his charger at full speed up and down on the sands of Portobello within spray of the wave, while his mind was at work on such lines as -- "They close, in clouds of smoke and dust, With sword-sway and with lance's thrust; And such a yell was there, Of sudden and portentous birth, As if men fought in upper earth, And fiends in upper air."

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