Sir Walter Scott


Sir Walter Scott, (1771 – 1832) was a prolific Scottish historical novelist and poet popular throughout Europe during his time.

In some ways Scott was the first author to have a truly international career in his lifetime, with many contemporary readers all over Europe, Australia, and North America. His novels and poetry are still read, and many of his works remain classics of both English-language literature and specifically, of Scottish literature. Famous titles include Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, The Lady of the Lake, Waverley and The Heart of Midlothian.

Beginning in 1825 he went 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 Napoleon 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 his debts from beyond the grave. He was buried in Dryburgh Abbey.

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From LibriVox:

 1.  Ivanhoe was the first novel in which Scott adopted a purely English subject, portraying the enmity of Saxons and Normans during the reign of King Richard I (1189-99).  Ivanhoe is set in 1194, when Richard I returned from the Third Crusade to reclaim his kingdom from his brother John, who had usurped much of Richard's power during his long absence in the Holy Land.  The novel's hero, Wilfred of Ivanhoe, is the son of Cedric, a Saxon nobleman. In the hope of one day restoring the Saxon dynasty, Cedric wishes to marry his ward Rowena, a descendant of Alfred the Great, to Athelstane of Coningsburgh, a descendant of Edward the Confessor. Ivanhoe's love for Rowena, however, threatens these plans, leading Cedric to disinherit him. Ivanhoe joins the Third Crusade, and, fighting alongside Richard the Lionheart in the Holy Land, wins the King's favor. The novel begins with Ivanhoe's return to England, where Prince John is plotting to depose his brother Richard, who has been taken captive in Austria on his way home from the Crusades. Ivanhoe was as much a success with the critics as it was with the reading public.  Ivanhoe sold at a phenomenal rate. Within less than two weeks, the entire first printing of 10,000 copies was exhausted and the demand for more copies put the printers under serious pressure. Translated into numerous languages, it marked the beginning of Scott's European vogue and the emergence of the historical novel as an international phenomenon.


2. The Talisman - Scott's 1825 historical novel, THE TALISMAN, which can be regarded as the second in a trilogy of King Richard I novels.  The first is THE BETROTHED and the third is IVANHOE (see above). King Richard is not the designated hero in any of the three, but this most popular of England's kings dominates any scene in which he appears.  

The major central themes 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.                           

This is an adventure set in the Holy Land during the Third Crusade.  It is about the knight Sir Kenneth of the Leopard (the prince royal of Scotland in disguise). At the time, Richard was ill with a fever, and the Council of Kings and Princes had sent Kenneth on a mission to Theodorick of Engaddi, a religious hermit who acted as a go-between for both Christians and Muslims. Richard was not aware of the mission, for the other leaders in the crusade were jealous of him and his power, and they resented his high-handed methods and his conceit.

3.  Rob RoyRob Roy is a historical novel.  It is narrated by Frank Osbaldistone, the son of an English merchant who travels first to the North of England, and subsequently to the Scottish Highlands to collect a debt stolen from his father.  On the way he encounters the larger-than-life title character of Rob Roy MacGregor.

    4.   Kenilworth - An Elizabethan era historical novel.  With a cast of historical and created characters, including the Queen herself, Scott presents the sad history and tragic consequences of the secretive marriage of young Amy Robsart and the Earl of Leicester.

    5.  The Tale of the Mysterious Mirror    (9th short story in Ghost Story Collection 005)


    6.  The Antiquary - Illegitimacy, false identity, and bankruptcy are the major elements of Sir Walter Scott's 1816 novel, The Antiquary. Set in the period of the French Revolution, the novel's hero, Lovel, struggles to gain repute and the hand of his beloved despite his uncertain parentage. During these pursuits, he befriends the title's antiquary, Johnathan Oldbuck, who finds Lovel a captive audience to his scholarly studies and a tragic likeness to his own disappointments in love. Readers will discover whether Lovel's acts of bravery and courage ultimately earn him the birth and fortunes of a nobleman.

    7.  Translations & Imitations of German Ballads - Each of these five poems are based loosely upon German ballads: rewritten in flowing English meter.
    1.  The Chase - a.k.a. The Wild Huntsman 
    2.  William & Helen 
    3.  The Fire King 
    4.  Frederick & Alice 
    5.  The Erl-King 

    8.  The Bridal of Triermain - The Bridal of Triermain is a rhymed, romantic, narrative poem which weaves together elements of popular English legend using dramatic themes. 
    This beautiful poem celebrates the exploits of a knight errant - Sir Roland De Vaux - as he seeks to rescue (and hopefully espouse) a beautiful maiden, Gyneth. Gyneth is the illegitimate daughter of King Arthur: doomed by Merlin 500 years previously to an enchanted sleep inside a magic castle. The enchantment can only be broken by a rescuer both brave and noble enough to overcome the temptations used successively to distract and overcome him, namely: fear, wealth, pleasure and pride.
9.  Harold the Dauntless - a rhymed, romantic, narrative-poem by Sir Walter Scott. Written in 1817, it weaves together elements of popular English legends and folklore using dramatic themes.
The poem recounts the exploits and the personal spiritual journey of a doubtful knight errant - Harold the son of Danish Count Witikind: who seeks to recover his lands and wed a suitable spouse.

10.  Waverley - Volume 1:    - Waverley is set during the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, which sought to restore the Stuart dynasty in the person of Charles Edward Stuart (or 'Bonnie Prince Charlie'). It relates the story of a young dreamer and English soldier, Edward Waverley, who was sent to Scotland in 1745. He journeys North from his aristocratic family home, Waverley-Honour, in the south of England first to the Scottish Lowlands and the home of family friend Baron Bradwardine, then into the Highlands and the heart of the 1745 Jacobite uprising and aftermath. 

11.  Waverley - Volume 2 - Waverley is set during the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, which sought to restore the Stuart dynasty in the person of Charles Edward Stuart (or 'Bonnie Prince Charlie'). It relates the story of a young dreamer and English soldier, Edward Waverley, who was sent to Scotland in 1745. He journeys North from his aristocratic family home, Waverley-Honor, in the south of England first to the Scottish Lowlands and the home of family friend Baron Bradwardine, then into the Highlands and the heart of the 1745 Jacobite uprising and aftermath. 

12.  The Lord of the IslesIn stunning narrative poetry, the story begins during the time when Robert Bruce, Earl of Carrick has been hunted out of Scotland into exile by the English and their allies. Bruce returns over sea from the Island of Rachrin: but is forced to land close to hostile forces at Artonish Castle on the seacoast of Argylshire. Seeking refuge from tempestuous seas, Bruce begs shelter from Ronald, Lord of the Isles: inadvertently on the day of his marriage feast to the beautiful Edith of Lorn.

13.  Christmas in the Olden Time  (7th story in Xmas Short Works - 2011)

14.  The Lady of the Lake - The scene of the following Poem is laid chiefly in the vicinity of Loch Katrine, in the Western Highlands of Perthshire. The time of Action includes Six Days, and the transactions of each Day occupy a Canto.

15a. The Two Drovers by Sir Walter Scott Part 1 (1st story from International Short Stories # 2)

15b. The Two Drovers by Sir Walter Scott Part 2 (2nd story from International Short Stories # 2)

15c. The Two Drovers by Sir Walter Scott Part 3 (3rd story from International Short Stories # 2)

16. The Monastery - Dame Elspeth is kept in a tower after the death of her husband. The widow of the Baron of Avenel and her daughter seek safety with Elspeth in her tower. Hearing the baroness's deathbed confession, Father Philip notices her Bible. As he carries it to the Lord Abbot, it is taken from him by a White Lady. 

17. The Lay of the Last Minstrel - An aging minstrel seeks who hospitality at Newark Castle and in recompense tells a tale of a sixteenth-century Border feud. In the poem, Lady Margaret Scott of Buccleuch, the "Flower of Teviot" is beloved by Baron Henry of Cranstown an ally of the Ker Clan, but a deadly feud exists between the two border clans of Scott and Carr/Ker, which has resulted in the recent murder of Lady Margaret's father, Sir Walter Scott of Buccleuch by the Kers on the High Street in Edinburgh. Maragaret's widowed mother – Lady Janet – hates the Ker clan as a result, and is adamant in refusing her consent to any suggestion of marriage between the lovers.

18.  Marmion: A Tale of Flodden Field - Marmion is an epic poem in six cantos, written in emulation of the ancient Scottish minstrel style which was of such great interest to Scott. Unlike its predecessor, The Lay of the Last Minstrel, this one contains "introductions" to each canto, in the guise of poetic letters which serve the purpose of linking the ancient historical setting with Scott's contemporaneous society - a device which attracted some criticism.  
The story of Lord Marmion and his arch-enemy Harold de Wilton is told with Scott's familiar swirling dark flair, combining a complex tale of intrigue, inconstancy and deception with the historical details of the Battle of Flodden Field, in which the English forces routed those of Scotland, killing the Scottish king.

19. Woodstock, or, The Cavalier - A Tale of the Year Sixteen Hundred and Fifty-one (1826) is a historical novel.  It is comprised of real events, along with fictional ones.  Set just after the English Civil War, it was inspired by the legend of the Good Devil of Woodstock, which in 1649 supposedly tormented parliamentary commissioners who had taken possession of a royal residence at Woodstock, Oxfordshire. The story deals with the escape of Charles II in 1652, during the Commonwealth, and his final triumphant entry into London on 29 May 1660.

20. The Bride of Lammermoor - An historical novel by Sir Walter Scott, part of the Tales of My Landlord series, published anonymously in 1819. Based on a true story, it is set in south-east Scotland and (in this edition) in the reign of Queen Anne, after the 1707 Acts of Union which joined Scotland and England. It tells of a tragic love affair between young Lucy Ashton and Edgar Ravenswood, her family's enemy. Lady Ashton sets out to end their engagement and make Lucy marry a man better placed politically.


    From AudioBooksForFree.Com:  (You must Log In)

    1. Quentin Durward
    2. Tapestried Chamber

     From Internet Archive:

    1. The Bridal of Triermain    [Published anonymously, Scott's 1813 poem combines Regency romance, Arthurian adventure, and medieval questing.]