Sir Walter Scott - Raeburn

Walter Scott (1771-1832). Portrait by Sir Henry Raeburn (1756-1823, 1822. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet (August 15, 1771 - September 21, 1832) was an influential Scottish poet, novelist, and critic. Scott was among the first to draw upon history as source material for his fiction and is generally cited as the father of the historical novel. His novels of Scottish history, such as Waverley (1814) and Rob Roy (1818) awakened pride among Scots, while Ivanhoe (1820) was influential in renewing interest in the Middle Ages and medieval traditions of chivalry. Many of his works are classics of both English and, specifically, Scottish literature.


Youth and educationEdit

Scott was born in College Wynd in the Old Town of Edinburgh in 1771, the son of a solicitor. Scott survived a childhood bout of polio in 1773 that would leave him lame in his right leg for the rest of his life. To restore his health, he was sent to live for some years in the rural Scottish Borders region at his grandparents' farm at Sandyknowe, a region where he avidly explored in his leisure time. Scott walked up to thirty miles a day, while he learned the speech patterns and many of the tales and legends that would characterize much of his work. Also, for his health, he spent a year in Bath, Somerset, England.

Scott attended the University of Edinburgh, studying arts and law, and was apprenticed to his father in 1786. In 1792 he was called to the bar, and in 1799, appointed sheriff depute of the county of Selkirk. In 1797 Scott married Margaret Charlotte Charpenter, daughter of Jean Charpentier of Lyon, France, and together they had five children. In 1806, Scott was appointed clerk to the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

Literary career launched Edit

In 1796, at the age of 25, Scott translated and published some rhymed verses of German ballads by Bürger. In 1802-1803 Scott's first major work, a 3-volume set of collected Scottish ballads, The Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, appeared. This was the first sign of his interest in Scottish history from a literary standpoint. Scott's next work, The Lay Of The Last Minstrel (1805), about an old border country legend, became a huge success and brought the author wide fame. He published a number of other poems over the next ten years, including the popular The Lady of the Lake, printed in 1810, and set in the Trossachs. Portions of the German translation of this work were later set to music by Franz Schubert. One of these songs, Ellens dritter Gesang, is popularly labeled as "Schubert's Ave Maria." Scott's last major poem, The Lord Of The Isles, was published in 1815.

Another work from this time period, Marmion, produced some of his most quoted (and most often mis-attributed) lines. Canto VI. Stanza 17 reads:

Yet Clare's sharp questions must I shun,
Must separate Constance from the nun
Oh! what a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to deceive!
A Palmer too! No wonder why
I felt rebuked beneath his eye;

In 1809, his Tory sympathies led him to become a co-founder of the Quarterly Review, a review journal to which he made several anonymous contributions.

The novels Edit

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In his earlier married days, Scott made 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 meager estate. To increase his income he started a printing and publishing business with his friend James Ballantyne. The enterprise crashed, however, and Scott accepted all debts and tried to pay them off with his writings.

Scott's first novel, Waverley, was published anonymously in 1814, a tale of Jacobite rebellion of 1745, which attempted to restore a Scottish family to the British throne. Its English protagonist Edward Waverley, by his Tory upbringing sympathetic to Jacobitism, becomes enmeshed in events, eventually choosing Hanoverian respectability. The novel met with considerable success. There followed a succession of novels over the next five years, each with a Scottish historical setting. Scott included little in the way of punctuation in his drafts, which he left for the printers to supply.[1]

Mindful of his reputation as a poet, Scott maintained the habit of publishing the novels anonymously under the name "Author of Waverley" or attributed as Tales of…. Even when it was clear that there would be no harm in coming out into the open, he maintained the façade. During this time, the nickname The Wizard of the North was popularly applied to the mysterious best-selling writer. His identity as the author of the novels was widely rumored, and in 1815, Scott was given the honor of dining with George, Prince Regent, who wanted to meet "the author of Waverley."


In 1819, he broke away from writing about Scotland with Ivanhoe, a historical romance set in 12th century England. Ivanhoe follows the Saxon protagonist, Wilfred of Ivanhoe, who is out of favor with his father owing to his courting of the Lady Rowena (promised to another man) and his allegiance to the Norman king, Richard the Lion-hearted, who is returning from the Crusades incognito amidst the plotting of Richard's brother, Prince John of England. The legendary Robin Hood, initially under the name of Locksley, is also a character in the story, as are his "merry men," including Friar Tuck and Alan-a-Dale. Scott's Robin Hood in Ivanhoe helped shape the modern notion of this figure as a cheery, noble outlaw.

Other major characters include Ivanhoe's intractable Saxon father, the last descendant of the Saxon King Harold Godwinson; various Knights Templar and churchmen; the loyal serfs Gurth the swineherd and the jester, or fool, Wamba, whose not-so-foolish observations punctuate much of the action; and the Jewish moneylender, Isaac, who is torn between love of money and love of his beautiful and heroic daughter Rebecca, who, in turn, steals the story (and probably Scott's heart) from Ivanhoe and Rowena.

The novel was a runaway success and, as he did with his first novel, he authored a series of books along the same lines. The book was published at a time when the struggle for the emancipation of the Jew] in England was gathering momentum. Ivanhoe helped to increase popular interest in the Middle Ages in 19th-century Europe and America, a fascination that has endured to the present day.

Fame and declining fortune Edit

As his fame grew during this phase of his career, he was granted the title of baronet, becoming Sir Walter Scott. When King George IV visited Edinburgh in 1822, the spectacular pageantry Scott organized made tartans and kilts fashionable, turning them into symbols of Scottish national identity.

Beginning in 1825, he fell into dire financial straits again, as his company nearly collapsed. That he was the author of his novels became general knowledge at this time as well. Rather than declare bankruptcy, he placed his home, Abbotsford House, and income into a trust belonging to his creditors, and proceeded to write his way out of debt. He kept up his prodigious output of fiction (as well as producing a biography of Napoléon Bonaparte) until 1831. By then his health was failing, and he died at Abbotsford in 1832. Though not in the clear by then, his novels continued to sell, and he made good on 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.


Scott’s works follow the transition from the 18th century Enlightenment to 19th century Romanticism. H novels present both the great and the ordinary caught up in historic conflicts between opposing cultures: Ivanhoe (1819) between Normans and Saxons; The Talisman (1825) between Christians and Muslims; and his Scottish history novels between old Scottish traditions and the new English order. Scott's egalitarian sensibility depicted heroism and moral elevation among men and women regardless of class, religion, politics, or ancestry. Throughout the body of Scott's work, principles of justice, honor, and integrity inform not only the values of his protagonists but play a role in historic events.

Although some critics have faulted him as a prolix, undisciplined writer, Scott's best novels wove sophisticated plots, keen social consciousness, and colorful characterization into enduring works of fiction. He achieved unrivaled popularity throughout Europe, America, and Australia during his lifetime, and despite a decline in reputation, his novels and poetry remain widely read. His widely quoted verse, "Oh! what a tangled web we weave / When first we practice to deceive," underscores his moral insight, while his amiability, generosity, and modesty all made him a respected public figure.

Critical introductionEdit

by Goldwin Smith

Walter Scottranks in imaginative power hardly below any writer save Homer and Shakespeare. His best works are his novels; but he holds a high place as a poet in virtue of his metrical romances and of his lyrical pieces and ballads. He was the first great British writer of the Romantic school, and the first who turned the thoughts and hearts of his countrymen towards the Middle Ages. The author of The Castle of Otranto and the builder of Strawberry Hill was his feeble precursor: Bishop Percy with his Reliques had lighted the way: Ellis with his Specimens of Early English Poems and Romances ministered to the same taste. In Germany the Romantic school prevailed at the same time over the Classical. There is in the poetry of Coleridge an element derived from that school; and Scott’s earliest works were translations from the German ballads of Bürger and of a romantic tragedy by Goethe, though the rill of foreign influence was soon lost in a river which flowed from a more abundant spring.

It is always said of Scott that he was above all things a Scotchman. The pride of Scotland he was indeed; and by the varied scenery and rich stores of romance, Lowland and Highland, Island and Border, which lie within the compass of that small realm, his creative genius was awakened and the materials for its exercise were supplied. But his culture, connections, and interests were British, and for the British public he wrote. To the Highland Celts, whose picturesqueness made them the special darlings of his patriotic fancy, he was, like other Lowlanders, really an alien.

In his poems, at least, there is little which, so far as language or sentiment is concerned, might not have been written by a native of any part of the island. Even the scenes and characters of his great poems are partly English, and only to a small extent taken from Scott’s own Lowlands. The Lowland Scotch generally were Presbyterians and Whigs: Scott was an Episcopalian and a Tory. He descended and loved to trace his descent from the wild Borderers who were not more Scotch than English. His solidity of character, his geniality, his shrewdness, like his massive head and shaggy brows, were of Southern Scotland; but a Southern Scotchman is a Northern Englishman. On the other hand, his genius and education were in an important sense Scotch, as not being classical: he knew no Greek, and his Latin was not so much classical as mediæval. He belonged entirely either to his own day or to the feudal age. Of Italian and Spanish Romance he had a tincture, but no deep dye.

The poetry of Scott flowed from a nature in which strength, high spirit, and active energy were united with tender sensibility and with an imagination wonderfully lively and directed by historic and antiquarian surroundings and by personal associations towards the feudal past. Homer may have been a warrior debarred from battle by blindness: Scott would perhaps have been a soldier if he had not been lame. War and its pageantry were his delight. He was the ardent quarter-master of a volunteer corps, and rode a hundred miles in twenty-four hours to muster, composing a poem by the way. It was not the only poem he composed on horseback. "Oh! man, I had many a grand gallop among those braes when I was thinking of Marmion." In boyhood, despite his lameness, he was renowned as a pugilist, both ‘in single fight and mixed affray,’ and in after-life he was a keen sportsman, though he liked the chase best when it took him to historic scenes.

"The Violet" is the memorial of an early cross in love, which perhaps left its trace on Scott’s character in a shade of pensiveness. He afterwards made a marriage of intellectual disparagement, but in his family as in his social relations he was happy. Loved by all, men and animals, he embraced in his sympathies everything that was not mean or cowardly. Though himself a keen Tory, he reconciled in his art Tory and Whig, Cavalier and Covenanter, Catholic and Puritan. He loves to depict the mutual courtesies of generous foes. Once he forgot his chivalry in attacking Fox; but in the introduction to the first canto of Marmion he made full amends.

A nature so joyous, a life so happy, so full of physical as well as of mental enjoyment, social success so great excluded all questionings about the mystery of being and all sympathy with the desire of change. There is not in Scott’s poems a particle of the philosophy which we find in Wordsworth, Byron, and Shelley, or a shade of the melancholy which we find in the last two. He is as purely pictorial as Homer. The Revolution politically was his aversion; it seemed to him merely vulgar and levelling. He wished ‘to cleave the politic pates’ of its Cobbetts as Homer revelled in the drubbing of Thersites. Intellectually it has left no more trace upon his poems than upon the waters of Loch Katrine.

Our generation has seen a strong current of religious reaction setting towards the Middle Ages. Of this there is nothing in Scott. The things which he loved in mediæval life were the chivalry, the adventure, the feudal force of character, the aristocratic sentiment, the military picturesqueness. For Dante he cared little, while he cared much for Ariosto. Roman Catholicism he contemned as a weak and effeminate superstition. Asceticism was utterly alien to him; in the "Guard-room Song" in The Lady of the Lake he is anti-ascetic to the verge of coarseness. A boon companion was in his eyes "worth the whole Bernardine brood."

In his writings the churchman appears only as the chaplain of the warrior. His priests and friars are either jolly fellows who patter a hasty mass for lords and knights impatient to be in their saddles, or wizards like Michael Scott. Ecclesiastical ruins, though he loves them as an antiquary, do not seem to move his reverence. At Kirkwall and Iona he thinks much more about the tombs of chieftains than about the monuments of religion. In Kirkwall Cathedral, the Canterbury of the Orkneys, he says: ‘The church is as well fitted up as could be expected; much of the old carved oak remains, but with a motley mixture of modern deal pews: all however is neat and clean, and does great honour to the Kirk Session who maintain its decency.’ Not so would he have spoken of a famous castle of the Middle Ages.

The poet first drew the breath of mental life at Sandy Knowe, the home of his grandfather. There he looked on a district ‘in which every field has its battle and every rivulet its song;’ on the ruined tower of Smailholme, the scene of The Eve of St. John, Mertoune and Hume Castle, Dryburgh and Melrose, the purple bosks of Eildon, the hill of Faerie, the distant mountain region of the Gala, the Ettrick and the Yarrow. Edinburgh, in which he lived while reading law, he might well call ‘his own romantic town.’ In his vacations it was his delight to ramble through the dales of the Border, above all through Teviotdale, living with the dalesmen, drinking whiskey with them—sometimes too much, for there was an element of coarse conviviality as well as of popular joviality in his character—and garnering in his eager mind their Border tales and ballads. The fruits were a collection of Border Minstrelsy (1802), with which he published some ballads of his own.

Being asked by Lady Dalkeith, wife of the heir of his ‘chieftain,’ the Duke of Buccleuch, to write her a ballad on the legend of Gilpin Horner, and finding the subject grow under his pen, he in a happy hour developed the ballad into the metrical romance and produced The Lay of the Last Minstrel. The Last Minstrel is the poet himself, who revives in a prosaic and degenerate age the heroic memories of the olden time.

Of those which followed The Lady of the Lake was the first revelation to the world of the lovely scenery and the poetry of clan life which lay enclasped and unknown to the cultivated world in the Highlands, into the fastnesses of which, physical and social, he had penetrated on a legal errand. This gave the poem an immense popularity.

Otherwise Marmion is the greatest of his poems, while the Lay is the freshest. Rokeby and The Lord of the Isles show exhaustion, the last in a sad degree. Two minor romances, The Bridal of Triermain and Harold the Dauntless, have not taken rank with the five: Harold the Dauntless is weak; but Triermain, in narrative skill and picturesqueness, is certainly superior to The Lord of the Isles.

The Vision of Don Roderick has been justly described by Mr. Palgrave as an unsuccessful attempt to blend the past history of Spain with the interests of the Peninsular War. The Epistles introductory to the cantos of Marmion have been deemed out of place; but they are in themselves charming pictures of Scott among his literary friends. They seem also to show that he well knew he was living in the present while he amused himself and his readers with the romantic past; although he was sometimes enough under the illusion to be taken with ravishment by the mock-feudalism of George the Fourth’s coronation, and to play with heart and soul the cockney Highlander on the occasion of the same monarch’s farcical visit to Scotland.

Before The Lord of the Isles, Waverley appeared, Scott’s career as a novelist began as his career as a poet ended. His vein was worked out, his popularity flagged, he was being eclipsed by Byron, one part of whose talisman the high-minded and self-repressing gentleman certainly would not have condescended to borrow.

Scott has vindicated the metre of his tales as preferable to Pope’s couplet: in the case of a romance which was a development of the ballad, the vindication was needless. Scott’s metre is the true English counterpart, if there be one, of Homer. In The Lady of the Lake and Rokeby it is the simple eight-syllable couplet. In the other poems variations are freely introduced with the best effect. Scott had no ear for music, but he had an ear for verse.

In each of the romances, The Lord of the Isles perhaps excepted, there is an exciting story, well told, for Scott was a thorough master of narration. In The Lay of the Last Minstrel, it is true, the diablerie sits lorn on the general plot; but it was an imposed task, not his own idea. We are always carried on, as the writer was himself when he was composing Marmion, by the elastic stride of a strong horse over green turf and in the freshest air. Abounding power alike of invention and expression is always there; and we feel throughout the influence of Scott’s strong though genial and sympathetic character and the control of his masculine sense, which never permits bad taste or extravagance. The language however, always good and flowing, is never very choice or memorable. There is not seldom a want of finish; and under the seductive influence of the facile measure, the wonderful ease not seldom runs into diffuseness, and sometimes, in the weaker poems, into a prolixity of common-place.

‘Though wild as cloud, as stream, as gale,
Flow forth, flow unrestrained, my tale!’

Scott was a little too fond of unrestrained flow; and perhaps it rather pleased him to think that his works were carelessly thrown off, by a gentleman writing for his amusement, not laboured by a professional writer.

He was a painter of action rather than of character, at least in its higher grades. Something of insight and experience which Homer had he wanted. All the heroes of his novels are insipid except the Master of Ravenswood, who interests not by his character but by his circumstances; all the heroines except Di Vernon, who interests by her circumstances and her horsemanship. So it is with the heroes and heroines of the poems. Margaret, in the Lay of the Last Minstrel, comes on with a charming movement, but she remains merely the fairest maid of Teviotdale.

The best characters are heroic scoundrels, such as Marmion the stately forger, and Bertram Risingham the buccaneer with a vein of good in his evil nature. ‘The worst of all my undertakings,’ says Scott himself, ‘is that my rogue always in despite of me turns out my hero.’ The author of Paradise Lost met with the same misfortune. Marmion is an almost impossible mixture of majesty and felony; but he is better than a seraph of a gentleman. There is not a happier passage in the poems than that in which, as a gentle judgment on his career of criminal ambition, the peasant takes his place in the baronial tomb. It is marred by the moralising at the end. Scott did not know when enough had been said.

‘To write a modern romance of chivalry,’ said Jeffrey in his review of Marmion, ‘seems to be much such a phantasy as to build a modern abbey or an English pagoda.’ Restorations are forced and therefore they are weak, even when the mind of the restorer is so steeped in the lore of the past as was that of Scott. His best works, after all, are his novels of contemporary or nearly contemporary life. A revival, whether in fiction or in painting, is a masquerade. Scott knew the Middle Ages better perhaps than any other man of his time; but he did not know them as they are known now; and an antiquary would pick many holes in his costume. His baronial mansion at Abbotsford was bastard Gothic, and so are many details of his poems. The pageantry not seldom makes us think of the circus, while in the sentiment there is too often a strain of the historical melodrama. The Convent Scene in Marmion is injured by the melodramatic passage in the speech of Constance about the impending dissolution of the monasteries.

All that a reviver could do by love of his period Scott did. He shows his passionate desire of realising feudal life, and at the same time his circumstantial vividness of fancy, by a minuteness of detail like that which we find in Homer, who perhaps was also a Last Minstrel. He resembles Homer too in his love of local names, which to him were full of associations.

Scott has said of himself — "To me the wandering over the field of Bannockburn was the source of more exquisite pleasure than gazing upon the celebrated landscape from the battlements of Stirling Castle. I do not by any means infer that I was dead to the feeling of picturesque scenery; on the contrary, few delighted more in its general effect. But I was unable with the eye of a painter to dissect the various parts of the scene, to comprehend how the one bore on the other, to estimate the effect which various features of the view had in producing its leading and general effect." It is true that he had not a painter’s eye any more than he had a musician’s ear; and we may be sure that the landscape charmed him most when it was the scene of some famous deed or the setting of some legendary tower. Yet he had a passionate love of the beauties of nature and communicated it to his readers. He turned the Highlands from a wilderness at the thought of which culture shuddered into a place of universal pilgrimage.

He was conscientious in his study of nature, going over the scene of Rokeby with book in hand and taking down all the plants and shrubs, though he sometimes lapsed into a closet description, as in saying of the buttresses of Melrose in the moonlight that they seem framed alternately of ebon and ivory. Many of his pictures, such as that of Coriskin, are examples of pure landscape painting without the aid of historical accessories. In a nature so warm, feeling for colour was sure not to be wanting; the best judges have pronounced that Scott possessed this gift in an eminent degree; and his picture of Edinburgh and the Camp in Marmion has been given as an example. He never thought of lending a soul to Nature like the author of "Tintern Abbey," to whose genius he paid hearty homage across a wide gulf of difference. But he could give her life; and he could make her sympathise with the human drama, as in the lines at the end of the Convent Canto of Marmion and in the opening of Rokeby, which rivals the opening of Hamlet in the cold winter night on the lonely platform of Elsinore.

Of the ballads and lyrical pieces some were Scott’s earliest productions; among these is the Eve of St. John, in which his romantic imagination is at its height. Others are scattered through the romances and novels. In the ballads, even when they are most successful as imitations of the antique, there is inevitably something modern: but so, it may be said, there is in the old ballads themselves, or they would not touch us as they do. Edmund’s song in Rokeby is an old ballad, only with a finer grace and a more tender pathos. There is nothing in Scott’s lyrical poetry deep or spiritual; the same fresh, joyous unphilosophising character runs through all his works: but in ‘County Guy’ he shows a true lyrical power of awakening by suggestion thoughts which would suffer by distinct expression.[2]

Recognition Edit


At the height of his fame, Walter Scott was the most popular writer in Europe. Building on the picaresque traditions of Henry Fielding and Daniel Defoe and the Gothic romances of Anne Radcliffe, Scott enlarged the novel's horizons by turning to history as direct source material. Read by nobility as well as commoners and by both men and women, the novel in Scott's hands became a respectable literary genre. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Alexandre Dumas, Victor Hugo, Alexander Pushkin, Honore de Balzac, and Leo Tolstoy were all influenced by Scott. Tolstoy's War and Peace, a fictional recreation of Napoleonic Europe and directly attributable by Scott, elevated the historical novel to the summit or artistry. Recognizing Scott's achievement, King George IV made the Scottish writer a baronet in 1820.

A white marble bust of Scott, by John Hutchison, was unveiled in Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey, in 1897.[3]

Seven of his poems ("Proud Maisie," "Brignall Banks," "Lucy Ashton's Song," "Answer," "The Rover's Adieu," "Patriotism 1. Innominatus," and "Patriotism 2. Nelson, Pitt, Fox") were included in the Oxford Book of English Verse, 1250-1900.[4]

From being one of the most popular novelists of the 19th century, Scott suffered a precipitous decline in reputation after World War I. Mark Twain had ridiculed Scott's romanticized notion of chivalry in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Later, in his classic work of literary criticism, Aspects of the Novel (1927), E.M. Forster savaged Scott as a clumsy writer who wrote slapdash, badly plotted novels. Scott also suffered from the growing reputation of Jane Austen. Considered merely an entertaining "woman's novelist" in the 19th century, Austen came 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 literary flaws (ponderousness, prolixity, lack of humor) were fundamentally out of step with Modernist sensibilities. After going essentially unstudied for many decades, Scott's work experienced a small revival of interest in the 1970's and 1980's. Despite Scott's flaws, he 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 1826, 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.

Abbotsford House Edit


When Scott was a boy, he sometimes traveled with his father from Selkirk to Melrose, in the Scottish Border Country, where some of his novels are set. At a certain spot, the old gentleman would stop the carriage and take his son to a stone on the site of the battle of Melrose (1526). Not far away was a little farm called Cartleyhole, and this Scott eventually purchased.

In due course, the farmhouse grew into a wonderful home that has been likened to a fairy palace. Through windows enriched with the insignia of heraldry, the sun shone on suits of armor, trophies of the chase, fine furniture, and distinguished artwork. Paneling of oak and cedar and carved ceilings relieved by coats of arms in their correct color added to the beauty of the house. The house contains an impressive collection of historic relics and weapons (including Rob Roy's Gun and Montrose's Sword), and a library containing over 9,000 rare volumes. More land was purchased, until Scott owned nearly 1,000 acres. A neighboring Roman road with a ford used in olden days by the abbots of Melrose suggested the name of Abbotsford. The house was opened to the public in 1833, five months after Sir Walter's death, and has remained a popular attraction.


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  • Halidon Hall: A dramatic sketch, from Scottish history. Edinburgh: Archibald Constable / London: Hurst, Robinson, 1822.


The Waverley NovelsEdit

Tales of My LandlordEdit


  • The Abbot. Edinburgh: Archibald Constable / John Ballantyne / London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, & Brown, 1820. volume I, Volume II
  • The Monastery: A romance. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, & Brown; Edinburgh: Archibald Constable, 1820. one Volume.
  • The Doom of Devorgoil: A melodrama.  Edinburgh: Cadell, 1830.

Short fictionEdit



  • Readings for the Young: From the works of Sir Walter Scott. (2 volumes), Edinburgh: Cadell, 1848; Philadelphia: Lea & Blanchard, 1848. Volume I, Volume II.

Collected editionsEdit



  • Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border: Consisting of historical and romantic ballads, collected in the southern counties of Scotland, with a few of modern date, founded upon local tradition. London: T. Cadell & W. Davies, 1802; Edinburgh: Manners & Miller / London: Longman & Rees, 1803; Edinburgh: A. Constable; London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, & Orme, 1806. Volume I, Volume II, Volume III, Volume IV

Letters and journalsEdit

  • Letters of Sir Walter Scott: Addressed to the Rev. R. Polwhele, D. Gilbert, Francis Douce. London: J.B. Nichols, 1832.
  • The Journal of Sir Walter Scott (edited by David Douglas). Edinburgh: David Douglas, 1891; New York: Harper, 1891. Volume I, Volume II
    • (edited by W.M. Parker). Edinburgh, W.G. Tait, 1939
    • (edited by W.E.K. Anderson). Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press, 1972.
  • The Letters (edited by Herbert J. Grierson). (12 volumes), Edinburgh: Archibald Constable, 1931; New York: AMS Press, 1971. Volume I; Volume II: 1808-1811;, Volume III: 1811-1813; Volume IV: 1815-1817; Volume V: 1817-1819; Volume VI: 1819-1821; Volume VII: 1821-1823; Volume VIII: 1823-1825; Volume IX: 1825-1826; Volume X: 1826-1828; Volume XI: 1828-1831; Volume XII: 1831-32.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat.[5]

See also Edit

Lochinvar by Sir Walter Scott03:07

Lochinvar by Sir Walter Scott


  • Buchan, John. Sir Walter Scott. New York: Coward-McCann, 1932.
  • Hutton, Richard H. Sir Walter Scott. Echo Library, 2006. ISBN 978-1406801361.
  • Sutherland, John. The Life of Walter Scott: A Critical Biography. Blackwell Publishers, 1998. ISBN 978-0631203179.


  1. Stuart Kelly, The Book of Lost Books. Retrieved November 26, 2007.
  2. from Goldwin Smith, "Critical Introduction: Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832)," The English Poets: Selections with critical introductions (edited by Thomas Humphry Ward). New York & London: Macmillan, 1880-1918. Web, Nov. 9, 2016.
  3. Walter Scott, People, History, Westminster Abbey. Web, July 12, 2016.
  4. Alphabetical list of authors: Montgomerie, Alexander to Shakespeare, William. Arthur Quiller-Couch, editor, Oxford Book of English Verse, 1250-1900 (Oxford, UK: Clarendon, 1919)., Web, May 19, 2012.
  5. Search results = au:Walter Scott, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc., Web, Nov. 9, 2013.

External links Edit

Audio / video

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