Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sir Walter Scott

Sir Walter Scott lived between 1771 and 1832 in Scotland. At a time when the Jacobites had given up the struggle for the English throne and the highland image seems to have been disappearing from memory, Scott came on the scene. He became a somewhat widely acclaimed author of poetry when it occurred to him he might try his hand at writing historical fiction. However, so as not to endanger his good name as a poet with bad fame as an author, he wrote anonymously. His first book, Waverly, so well received that he continued writing under the title “Author of Waverly” for some years, until he finally let himself be toasted at a large banquet as “The Author of Waverly.”

Scott was, according to some, the one who gave us the Scottish enthusiasm. He gives us scenes of great battles, soft lays of love, highland hunts, highway robberies and duels between “gentlemen,” while at the same time giving us a great deal of history and historical incite, both in the novels as well as the notes, introductions and dialogue of the characters. Sir Walter Scott had a very good way with words, capturing their beauty, and turning out phrases and dramatic prose almost worthy of poetry. Scott became so famous that, in his book Woodstock, he says that pictures of his dog were sold on snuff boxes in Germany.
While Scott did have theological discrepancies at times, he gives us the love of national image in a country that is fast disappearing in America. I would recommend reading a few of the works of Scott, (Waverly, Ivanhoe and Rob Roy probably being the first). So take up a chair, pour yourself a warm drink, (it is cold where I am), and enjoy the works of Sir Walter Scott.

Through His Strength We Will Conquer,
Andrew C. Abbott

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