Few of the great writers of the past enjoyed such fame in his lifetime as sir Walter Scott. His novels were translated into all European languages, they were read by millions of readers in all parts of Europe and in each country he found disciples and followers. His name was called, an era of literary development. And it lasted a long time. Then his fame began to decline. He ceased to be a companion to the new generations.
Before the European society and in almost every country at the same time new tasks have emerged, requiring for their solution new art forms. Our time is so different from the “era of Walter Scott,” to rediscover in his work of social and moral problems that will not disappear from the European sky.
Whether it is English or a Scottish writer? Such an approach is contrary to the feelings and beliefs of Walter Scott. He was a fervent Scottish patriot, and in his poems and novels have glorified their homeland with passion and wisdom, famous throughout the world before anyone is not known, a tiny, backward country. He wrote in English, her novels rich dialogues in the Scottish dialect, and considered themselves English writer in the same way as the Scottish.
Scotland and England he was called two sisters and at the same time proudly defended the Scottish national identity against the encroachments or insults of her more powerful neighbor. Walter Scott was born in 1771 in Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital. At the request of his father, he began to study jurisprudence, he received the title of lawyer, was Secretary of the Edinburgh court and then the County Sheriff. However, Scott’s passion was in literature.
Surrounded by a Scottish chap, he was particularly interested in the history of their country, its folklore, the fantastic and historic, and has since childhood loved the old ballads. His first works were translations of bürger’s ballad “Lenore” and “Wild hunter”. He collected and recorded ballads that were still sung in the remotest corners of the country, and in 1802-1803 he published them under the title “border Songs of Scotland”.
This collection was published and his own ballads, in particular “night”, translated by V. A. Zhukovsky and erodirovannoj M. Y. Lermontov. In 1805 Scott writes great poems of medieval history, which brought him European fame. Only in 1814 appeared his first historical novel “Waverley, or Sixty years ago”, which opened a new period in the development of European literature.
Scott went down in history as the Creator of the genre of the historical novel. In his estate of Abbotsford on the banks of the Tweed, the border river between England and Scotland, Scott has assembled a great collection of antiquities, including weapons, manuscripts, books, utensils. Among the most valuable weapons in the collection were kept the sword of Claverhouse, the hero of “the Puritans”, the guns of Montrose, the hero of “the legend of Montrose,” and the gun of Rob Roy, the hero of the novel “Rob Roy”.
Walter Scott rarely left his castle. For a long time he had to leave it only a year before his death in 1831 he suffered a stroke, and the doctors advised him to settle in warmer regions. On a military frigate, given to him by the government, Scott went on a journey across the Mediterranean sea, in Italy. However, no relief came, and, feeling ill, he returned home to Abbotsford, where he died September 21, 1832.
For three decades Walter Scott wrote more than thirty novels and novellas, and many articles and books on history and literature. All his novels were published under pseudonyms, his authorship he acknowledged only in 1829, making a complete collection of his works.
Scott turned to the historical novel because the issues are increasingly interested him from the time when he was collecting folk ballads, do not fit in the genre of the poem: the poem could not show the depth of which he dreamed, the historical era in its contradictions, with a lot of actors and events, and to capture the reader with not only a picturesque spectacle, but also a philosophical understanding of these events.
The plot of the first novel was conceived in order to “reconcile” the English with the Scots, the strife between them became more tense after the Scottish rebellion in 1745. “Waverley” told of this revolt, and so to cause the English reader’s sympathy for the Scots. However, in the novel put forward a more General problem, the problem of the conquest, which saw the beginning of the feudal system and social inequality.
Download A Legend of Montrose by Walter Scott