Revised: April 4, 2014

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“Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive!”
- SCOTT IN “MARMION, CANTO VI, STANZA 17”
Sir Walter Scott
Novelist and Poet, 1771 - 1832

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 reflects 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 “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 Dunward” (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.

If you are aware of books, movies, databases, web sites or other information sources about Sir Walter Scott or related subjects, or if you would like to comment, please contact us.

Resource Menu
Books By/About Sir Walter Scott

The Life of Walter Scott The Life of Walter Scott: A Critical Biography
by John Sutherland

This critical biography penetrates into the darker areas of Scott's life in a sceptical, yet sympathetic spirit.

Purchase this hardcover edition of The Life of Walter Scott: A Critical Biography

Ivanhoe Ivanhoe
by Sir Walter Scott

Ivanhoe, first published in 1819, is a romantic tale of peril and rescue, chivalry and pageantry. It is the tale of Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe, a knight returning from the Crusades who finds himself disinherited and thwarted in the pursuit of the lady Rowena.

Purchase this paperback edition of Ivanhoe

Rob Roy Rob Roy
by Sir Walter Scott

This novel helped establish historical novels as a literary form. Rob Roy follows the adventures of a businessman's son, Frank Osbaldistone, who is sent to Scotland and finds himself drawn to the powerful, enigmatic figure of Rob Roy MacGregor, the romantic outlaw who fights for justice and dignity for the Scots.

Purchase this paperback edition of Rob Roy

The Antiquary The Antiquary
by Sir Walter Scott

The third novel in the Waverley series, and Scott's personal favorite, The Antiquary centers on a young man who meets a loquacious old antiquary, on a trip to Scotland. He falls in love with the daughter of a local landowner, however, with no wealth or title, his feelings go unrequited until an extraordinary act of courage.

Purchase this paperback edition of The Antiquary

The Bride of Lammermoor The Bride of Lammermoor
by Sir Walter Scott

A novel of loss, love, and vengeance is the fourth in Scott's Scottish cycle, Tales of My Landlord. This new edition includes an account of the textual history of the novel, a list of verbal changes from the first-edition text, and a glossary.

Purchase this paperback edition of The Bride of Lammermoor

The Heart of Midlothian The Heart of Midlothian
by Sir Walter Scott

This novel, set between the two Jacobean insurrections in 1736 and during the Porteous Riots, is considered by many it to be Scott's national epic.

Purchase this paperback edition of The Heart of Midlothian

The Complete Poetical Works Of Sir Walter Scott The Complete Poetical Works Of Sir Walter Scott
by Sir Walter Scott

Scott's complete poetical works are gathered in this re-print of a 1894 edition.

Purchase this hardcover edition of The Complete Poetical Works Of Sir Walter Scott


Sir Walter Scott DVDs

Sir Walter Scott, The Famous Authors Series Sir Walter Scott, The Famous Authors Series

Drawing on old maps, contemporary drawings and paintings, portraits and other archive material, this DVD presents a factual outline of Scott's, and conveys a picture of the social and historical background to his writing.

Purchase this DVD edition of Sir Walter Scott, The Famous Authors Series

Ivanhoe Ivanhoe (1997)

This six-part adaptation of Scott's adventure of the Middle Ages tells the epic tale of the idealistic young knight Ivanhoe and his battle against the evil Templar Bois-Guilbert.

Purchase this DVD edition of Ivanhoe

Rob Roy Rob Roy (1995)

Loosely based on Scott's novel, this film adaptation features beautiful scenery and rugged action (including several sword fights) and an intelligent script. Starring Liam Neeson and Jessica Lange and directed by Michael Caton-Jones.

Purchase this DVD edition of Rob Roy


Sir Walter Scott Online Videos

Sir Walter Scott short video biography


Sir Walter Scott eTexts

The Antiquary

The Black Dwarf

The Heart of Midlothian

Ivanhoe

A Legend of Montrose

Rob Roy

The Talisman

The Tapestried Chamber or The Lady in the Sacque

Waverley


Related Websites

The Edinburgh Sir Walter Scott Club

The Life of Sir Walter Scott
by J.G. Lockhart (1848)

Tribute to Scott
by Alexander Campbell (1833)

Abbotsford, Home of Sir Walter Scott

The Scott Monument virtual tour

Clan Scott Society

Sir Walter Scott Quotations
At Bartleby.com


Martin Luther King Jr.


Other Authors in the Lucidcafé Library

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