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Waverley; or 'Tis Sixty Years Since (Oxford World's Classics) [Paperback]

Walter Scott , Claire Lamont
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

18 Jun 1998 Oxford World's Classics
Set during the Jacobite rising in Scotland in 1745, this novel springs from Scott's childhood recollections and his desire to preserve in writing the features of life in the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland. Waverley was first published anonymously in 1814 and was Scott's first novel.

Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks; New edition edition (18 Jun 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192836013
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192836014
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 13 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,050,887 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Walter Scott was born in Edinburgh in 1771, educated there and called to the bar in 1792. Having developed an early interest in BOrder tales and ballads he spent much of his free time exploring the Border country, and in 1796 published his first work - a translation of Burger's 'Lenore' - anonymously. He began to publish wroks under his own name in 1802 while holiday well-respected offices such as Sheriff of Selkirkshire. Having refused the laureateship in 1813, and being eclipsed by Byron as a poet, Scott began to write novels - again anonymously to start with. He died in 1832.

Andrew Hook is Bradley Professor of English literature at the University of Glasgow. He has also edited (with Judith Hook) Charlotte Bronte's Shirley for Penguin Classics.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A defining moment in English Literature 11 Feb 2006
Scott has to be the most underrated author in the British canon. He is no tartan and shortbread author, but one of the most innovative and influential novelists ever. People forget that among his contemporary European audience he was probably more popular than Jane Austen, lauded by most from Byron to Goethe, and even Austen begrudgingly recognised Scott's talent. True, his psychology may not be as incisive, but his stories are far more exciting and politically far deeper, and just as affecting.
Whereas Austen's novels are subtle and beautiful, Scott's are epic and sublime. Waverely was the first historical novel in history, as we understand the genre today, and a seminal work that laid the groundwork for most historcal novelists to this day. It has everything: fictional characters arise out of historical possibliity to play their role in significant historical narratives; the action depicts a transitional period and demonsrates the dynamic movement of history and social change; and of course, there is much epic romance and swashbuckling.
Scott shines most in his portrait of the Scottish characters, who are usually far more colourful and exotic than his staple English protagonist. He goes a long way to producing the epic portrayal of an entire historical society over the course of the Waverley novels, and in this the first novel the eponymous character sojourns with the Mac-Ivor clan and eventually fights alongside them at Prestonpans. Along the way the reader is privy to the effects of the transition from feudal to bourgeois society.
Scott's detail is wonderfully evocative and really lends the narrative the spirit of the times. This is a great read, and in spite of the occasional anachronism, the history is thoroughly researched. Scott had the skill and knowledge to paint the broad strokes and pay attention to fine detail in his portrait of mid-18th Century Scotland. A great novel that anyone can enjoy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow burn 12 Oct 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm a Scott fan but, although this novel is one of his best known, I did not think it was his best. As usual, his style is discursive and normally, once you adjust to it, this works well. On this occasion, however, I felt it was a little too laboured in terms of storyline development. That said, the plot is typically many-stranded and it all comes together well at the end. As so often with Scott, one gets as a bonus a generous slice of British politival and social history.
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32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Scotts best? 25 Mar 2003
I'd say this is his best moment. The original historical novel -fictional characters placed into an actual historical landscape, taking part in real historical events - this is set during the jacobite uprising in 1745, where we follow the adventures of Waverly as he travels up into the mystical highlands of Scotland.
I have to confess I'm not a huge fan of Scott, but this is a pretty good read. He is, however, extremely guilty of being very longwinded, describing absolutely everything in minute detail (more so than Dickens), and the narrative can tend to swing off on tangents to tell you things that are really extraneous to, well, anything. In this way it does take quite a few chapters before anything of note actually happens, so you do have to have a high level of endurance, but you are rewarded, as when things kick off, you find you've been so absorbed in the minute characterisation of the main and supporting characters, you do really care what happens to them. PLus, after so many chapters of inaction, when the action happens it's all he more exciting.
If you only read one Scott novel read this one. And chances are you probably won't want to read another, but you will have enjoyed this. honest.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Unsung classic 15 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very good if you like to read classics. Centres around the Bonnie Prince Charlie era (1750s). Not an easy read if you like pulp fiction but if you have an interest in those historic times in the context of English / Scottish history then you will love this book which unfairly is not always recognised as some other classics.
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