68 Facts About Walter Scott


Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet, was a Scottish historian, novelist, poet, and playwright.


Walter Scott had a major impact on European and American literature.


Walter Scott was prominent in Edinburgh's Tory establishment, active in the Highland Society, long a president of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and a vice president of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.


Walter Scott became a baronet of Abbotsford in the County of Roxburgh, Scotland, on 22 April 1820; the title became extinct on his son's death in 1847.


Walter Scott was the ninth child of Walter Scott, a member of a cadet branch of the Clan Scott and a Writer to the Signet, by his wife Anne Rutherford, a sister of Daniel Rutherford and a descendant both of the Clan Swinton and of the Haliburton family.


Walter Scott became a member of the Clarence Club, of which the Burtons were members.


In 1778, Walter Scott returned to Edinburgh for private education to prepare him for school and joined his family in their new house, one of the first to be built in George Square.


Walter Scott was by then well able to walk and explore the city and the surrounding countryside.


Walter Scott's reading included chivalric romances, poems, history and travel books.


Walter Scott was given private tuition by James Mitchell in arithmetic and writing, and learned from him the history of the Church of Scotland with emphasis on the Covenanters.


Walter Scott was described in 1820 as "tall, well formed, neither fat nor thin, with forehead very high, nose short, upper lip long and face rather fleshy, complexion fresh and clear, eyes very blue, shrewd and penetrating, with hair now silvery white".


At school and university Walter Scott had become a friend of Adam Ferguson, whose father Professor Adam Ferguson hosted literary salons.


Walter Scott met the blind poet Thomas Blacklock, who lent him books and introduced him to the Ossian cycle of poems by James Macpherson.


When Burns noticed a print illustrating the poem "The Justice of the Peace" and asked who had written it, Walter Scott alone named the author as John Langhorne and was thanked by Burns.


Walter Scott describes the event in his memoirs, where he whispers the answer to his friend Adam, who tells Burns; another version of the event appears in Literary Beginnings.


Walter Scott made his first visit as a lawyer's clerk to the Scottish Highlands, directing an eviction.


Walter Scott was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1792.


Walter Scott had an unsuccessful love suit with Williamina Belsches of Fettercairn, who married Scott's friend Sir William Forbes, 7th Baronet.


Walter Scott was prompted to take up a literary career by enthusiasm in Edinburgh in the 1790s for modern German literature.


Walter Scott responded to the German interest at the time in national identity, folk culture and medieval literature, which linked with his own developing passion for traditional balladry.


In 1799 Walter Scott was appointed Sheriff-Depute of the County of Selkirk, based at the courthouse in the Royal Burgh of Selkirk.


From 1798, Walter Scott had spent summers in a cottage at Lasswade, where he entertained guests, including literary figures.


In 1800 Walter Scott suggested that Ballantyne set up business in Edinburgh and provided a loan for him to make the transition in 1802.


In 1805, they became partners in the printing business, and from then until the financial crash of 1826 Walter Scott's works were routinely printed by the firm.


Walter Scott was known for his fondness of dogs, and owned several throughout his life.


The best known of Walter Scott's dogs were Maida, a large stag hound, and Spice, a Dandie Dinmont terrier described as having asthma, to which Walter Scott gave particular care.


Between 1805 and 1817 Walter Scott produced five long, six-canto narrative poems, four shorter independently published poems, and many small metrical pieces.


Walter Scott was by far the most popular poet of the time until Lord Byron published the first two cantos of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage in 1812 and followed them up with his exotic oriental verse narratives.


Walter Scott owed the distinctive irregular accent in four-beat metre to Coleridge's Christabel, which he had heard recited by John Stoddart.


Three years after The Lay Walter Scott published Marmion telling a story of corrupt passions leading up as a disastrous climax to the Battle of Flodden in 1513.


Walter Scott produced four minor narrative or semi-narrative poems between 1811 and 1817: The Vision of Don Roderick ; The Bridal of Triermain ; The Field of Waterloo ; and Harold the Dauntless.


In 1813 Walter Scott was offered the position of Poet Laureate.


Walter Scott was influenced by Gothic romance, and had collaborated in 1801 with 'Monk' Lewis on Tales of Wonder.


Walter Scott continued this until his financial ruin in 1826, the novels mostly appearing as "By the Author of Waverley" or as Tales of My Landlord.


Walter Scott was better versed in his material than anyone: he could draw on oral tradition and a wide range of written sources in his ever-expanding library.


In 1820, in a bold move, Walter Scott shifted period and location for Ivanhoe to 12th-century England.


Eight of the subsequent 17 novels have medieval settings, though most are set towards the end of the era, for which Walter Scott had a better supply of contemporaneous sources.


Walter Scott is fascinated by striking moments of transition between stages in societies.


Walter Scott is intrigued by the way different stages of societal development can exist side by side in one country.


Walter Scott provided each novel with an introduction and notes and made mostly piecemeal adjustments to the text.


Some have argued that although Walter Scott was formally a supporter of the Union with England his novels have a strong nationalist subtext for readers attuned to that wavelength.


In most of the novels Walter Scott preceded each chapter with an epigram or "motto"; most of these are in verse, and many are of his own composition, often imitating other writers such as Beaumont and Fletcher.


In spite of having only three weeks to work with, Walter Scott created a spectacular, comprehensive pageant, designed not only to impress the King, but in some way to heal the rifts that had destabilised Scots society.


In 1825, a UK-wide banking crisis resulted in the collapse of the Ballantyne printing business, of which Walter Scott was the only partner with a financial interest.


Walter Scott was buried in Dryburgh Abbey, where his wife had earlier been interred.


Lady Walter Scott had been buried as an Episcopalian; at Walter Scott's own funeral, three ministers of the Church of Scotland officiated at Abbotsford and the service at Dryburgh was conducted by an Episcopal clergyman.


Walter Scott was raised as a Presbyterian in the Church of Scotland.


Walter Scott was ordained as an elder in Duddingston Kirk in 1806, and sat in the General Assembly for a time as representative elder of the burgh of Selkirk.


Walter Scott's father was a Freemason, being a member of Lodge St David, No 36, and Walter Scott became a Freemason in his father's Lodge in 1801, albeit only after the death of his father.


When Walter Scott was a boy, he sometimes travelled with his father from Selkirk to Melrose, where some of his novels are set.


The farm had the nickname of "Clarty Hole", and Walter Scott renamed it "Abbotsford" after a neighbouring ford used by the monks of Melrose Abbey.


Walter Scott described the resulting building as 'a sort of romance in Architecture' and 'a kind of Conundrum Castle to be sure'.


In 1817 as part of the land purchases Walter Scott bought the nearby mansion-house of Toftfield for his friend Adam Ferguson to live in along with his brothers and sisters and on which, at the ladies' request, he bestowed the name of Huntlyburn.


Ferguson commissioned Sir David Wilkie to paint the Walter Scott family resulting in the painting The Abbotsford Family in which Walter Scott is seated with his family represented as a group of country folk.


Walter Scott was acclaimed as the inventor of the genre of the modern historical novel and the inspiration for enormous numbers of imitators and genre writers both in Britain and on the European continent.


Walter Scott served as chairman of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and was a member of the Royal Celtic Society.


Walter Scott's orchestration of King George IV's visit to Scotland, in 1822, was a pivotal event intended to inspire a view of his home country that accentuated the positive aspects of the past while allowing the age of quasi-medieval blood-letting to be put to rest, while envisioning a more useful, peaceful future.


In Edinburgh, the 61.1-metre-tall Victorian Gothic spire of the Walter Scott Monument was designed by George Meikle Kemp.


Walter Scott's Ivanhoe continued to be required reading for many American high school students until the end of the 1950s.


The many other British novelists whom Walter Scott influenced included Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Charles Kingsley, and Robert Louis Stevenson.


Walter Scott shaped children's writers like Charlotte Yonge and G A Henty.


Walter Scott was a born story-teller: we can give him no higher praise.


Walter Scott stopped in ecstasy to shut her eyes that she might the better fancy herself one of that heroic ring.


Oh, it was one of old Sir Walter Scott's she saw, adjusting the shade of her lamp so that the light fell on her knitting.


Walter Scott clean forgot all the little rubs and digs of the evening.


Many of Walter Scott's songs were set to music by composers throughout the 19th century.


The Waverley Novels is the title given to the long series of Walter Scott novels released from 1814 to 1832 which takes its name from the first novel, Waverley.


Many of the short poems or songs released by Walter Scott were originally not separate pieces but parts of longer poems interspersed throughout his novels, tales, and dramas.