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Sir Walter Scott Famous Scots Series   By: (1845-1933)

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SIR WALTER SCOTT

FAMOUS SCOTS SERIES

The following Volumes are now ready

THOMAS CARLYLE. By Hector C. Macpherson. ALLAN RAMSAY. By Oliphant Smeaton. HUGH MILLER. By W. Keith Leask. JOHN KNOX. By A. Taylor Innes. ROBERT BURNS. By Gabriel Setoun. THE BALLADISTS. By John Geddie. RICHARD CAMERON. By Professor Herkless. SIR JAMES Y. SIMPSON. By Eve Blantyre Simpson. THOMAS CHALMERS. By Professor W. Garden Blaikie. JAMES BOSWELL. By W. Keith Leask. TOBIAS SMOLLETT. By Oliphant Smeaton. FLETCHER OF SALTOUN. By G. W. T. Omond. THE BLACKWOOD GROUP. By Sir George Douglas. NORMAN MACLEOD. By John Wellwood. SIR WALTER SCOTT. By Professor Saintsbury.

[Illustration:

SIR WALTER SCOTT

BY GEORGE SAINTSBURY

FAMOUS SCOTS SERIES

PUBLISHED BY OLIPHANT ANDERSON & FERRIER. EDINBURGH AND LONDON

]

The designs and ornaments of this volume are by Mr. Joseph Brown, and the printing from the press of Morrison & Gibb Limited, Edinburgh.

June 1897.

PREFACE

To the very probable remark that 'Another little book about Scott is not wanted,' I can at least reply that apparently it is, inasmuch as the publishers proposed this volume to me, not I to them. And I believe that, as a matter of fact, no 'little book about Scott' has appeared since the Journal was completed, since the new and important instalment of Letters appeared (in both cases with invaluable editorial apparatus by Mr. David Douglas), and especially since Mr. Lang's Lockhart was published. It is true that no one of these, nor any other book that is likely to appear, has altered, or is likely to alter, much in a sane estimate of Sir Walter. His own matchless character and the genius of his first biographer combined to set before the world early an idea, of which it is safe to say that nothing that should lower it need be feared, and hardly anything to heighten it can be reasonably hoped. But as fresh items of illustrative detail are made public, there can be no harm in endeavouring to incorporate something of what they give us in fresh abstracts and aper├žus from time to time. And for the continued and, as far as space permits, detailed criticism of the work, it may be pleaded that criticism of Scott has for many years been chiefly general, while in criticism, even more than in other things, generalities are deceptive.

CONTENTS

PAGE CHAPTER I

LIFE TILL MARRIAGE 9

CHAPTER II

EARLY LITERARY WORK 20

CHAPTER III

THE VERSE ROMANCES 38

CHAPTER IV

THE NOVELS, FROM WAVERLEY TO REDGAUNTLET 69

CHAPTER V

THE DOWNFALL OF BALLANTYNE & COMPANY 104

CHAPTER VI

LAST WORKS AND DAYS 118

CHAPTER VII

CONCLUSION 139

SIR WALTER SCOTT

CHAPTER I

LIFE TILL MARRIAGE

Scott's own 'autobiographic fragment,' printed in Lockhart's first volume, has made other accounts of his youth mostly superfluous, even to a day which persists in knowing better about everything and everybody than it or they knew about themselves. No one ever recorded his genealogy more minutely, with greater pride, or with a more saving sense of humour than Sir Walter. He was connected, though remotely, with gentle families on both sides. That is to say, his great grandfather was son of the Laird of Raeburn, who was grandson of Walter Scott of Harden and the 'Flower of Yarrow.' The great grandson, 'Beardie,' acquired that cognomen by letting his beard grow like General Dalziel, though for the exile of James II... Continue reading book >>




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