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Chronicles of the Canongate   By: (1771-1832)

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Chronicles of the Canongate by Walter Scott is a collection of three fascinating and intricately woven stories that transport the reader back in time to the historical era of Scotland. This literary gem offers a mix of historical fiction, romance, and adventure, showcasing Scott's unmatched storytelling skills.

The first story, "The Highland Widow," introduces the reader to an empathetic and resilient widow, who, despite her personal tragedy, finds the strength to face life's hardships head-on. Scott's vivid descriptions of the rugged Scottish landscape and the rich cultural traditions of the highlands create a captivating backdrop for the narrative, immersing the reader in the setting and enhancing the overall reading experience.

The second story, "The Two Drovers," delves into the complex world of rival clans and the animosity that divides them. Scott masterfully highlights the themes of honor, loyalty, and tragedy, making the reader question the values they hold dear. The exceptional character development in this tale brings both the protagonist and the antagonist to life, turning them into relatable and multifaceted individuals.

The final story, "The Surgeon's Daughter," provides a change of pace, as it ventures into the realms of romance, mystery, and exoticism. Set in India during the British colonial period, Scott presents a contrast of cultures and an exploration of the tensions that arise from colonialism. The gripping narrative keeps the reader on edge, eager to uncover the mysteries that lie beneath the surface.

What truly sets Chronicles of the Canongate apart is Scott's brilliant use of storytelling within storytelling. Each story is framed by an overarching narrative, intertwining the lives and experiences of the characters in an intricate web. This device allows Scott to explore various themes and perspectives while maintaining a cohesive and engaging reading experience.

Scott's writing style is captivating and poetic, transporting the reader to a bygone era and immersing them in the Scottish culture and landscape. His use of dialects and regional colloquialisms adds authenticity to the dialogue and further enhances the sense of time and place.

However, the collection may prove challenging for readers unfamiliar with Scottish history or struggling with the dialect. Some passages require patience and a willingness to engage with the text on a deeper level. Nevertheless, the effort invested in deciphering the dialect is rewarded with a rich and immersive reading experience.

Chronicles of the Canongate is a testament to Walter Scott's literary genius. Through his vivid storytelling, he invites readers on a mesmerizing journey through time, captivating them with a tapestry of emotions, history, and adventure. Even though this book is often overlooked in favor of Scott's more famous works, it deserves recognition for its profound exploration of human nature and its masterful portrayal of a bygone era.

First Page:


By Sir Walter Scott, Bart.

Transcriber's Note: Footnotes and references to the notes at the end of the printed book have been inserted in the etext in square brackets ("[]") close to the place where they were indicated by a suffix in the original text. The notes at the end are now numbered instead of using pages to identify them as was done in the printed text.

Text in italics has been written in capital letters.

The Pound Sterling symbol has been written as "L".


Introduction to Chronicles of the Canongate. Appendix to Introduction The Theatrical Fund Dinner. Introductory Mr. Chrystal Croftangry. The Highland Widow. The Two Drovers. Notes.


The preceding volume of this Collection concluded the last of the pieces originally published under the NOMINIS UMBRA of The Author of Waverley; and the circumstances which rendered it impossible for the writer to continue longer in the possession of his incognito were communicated in 1827, in the Introduction to the first series of Chronicles of the Canongate, consisting (besides a biographical sketch of the imaginary chronicler) of three tales, entitled "The Highland Widow," "The Two Drovers," and "The Surgeon's Daughter." In the present volume the two first named of these pieces are included, together with three detached stories which appeared the year after, in the elegant compilation called "The Keepsake... Continue reading book >>

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