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Waverley by Walter Scott

Waverley (1814)

by Walter Scott

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Sir Walter Scott's first novel, although published anonymously - none of his novels were acknowledged until late in his life.
Tells the story of an Englishman who comes to Scotland with an English regiment but ends up fighting on the side of the Jacobites against the crown. As a novel, it is most interesting for the background of the Scots and highlanders of the time. The edition I read had extensive introductions and prefaces which helped putting the book and its contents into context. ( )
  mbmackay | Jul 19, 2018 |
Waverley was Walter Scott's his first novel, and indeed is normally regarded as the first example of historical fiction in our modern conception of it – that being a story based on real historical events, with accurate details of customs, behaviours, and language of that time, but peopled with some fictitious characters and plot events to set the main historical ones in a more compelling context.
Waverley was published around sixty years after the events it purports to describe, which centre on the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745. This was an important period in British history in which the last battle was fought on British soil - primarly between the Highland clans who would return the exiled Bonnie Prince Charlie to the throne of his ancestors, and the government supporting the reigning monarch. Our hero of the novel – Edward Waverley, is caught up in these events, and torn betwen his loyalties to these two sides. Most of the novel is set in Scotland, and provides a romantic and detailed vision of the Highland way of life, customs, and characters, which were largely obliterated following the historical events of the novel. Scott himself was a keen historian of Scotland, and this novel benefits from his extensive research into the lost Scottish culture which it so richly here preserves. Indeed, these novels (Waverley, and the following novels by Scott) set off something of a craze during their days for all things Scottish, and are in large part resonsible for the image of Scotland held this day in the popular mind.
But this alone is not why Waverley deserves to be read more than it currently is. This book might face criticism of being over-detailed and not getting on with the story in places, but what we gain is more valuable. The characters here are not only memorable and individual, but they are well developed in their personalities, motivations, and show good observation and understanding of the wide range of human behaviours, personal ways of thinking, and outlooks on life. Balzac, also a master in this sort of characterisation, was a fan of Scott for this reason. Together with the appreciation of the beauty of the Scottish landscape, romantic adventures, and the inherent interest in the historical events of this time, this makes Waverley a fascinating novel for the reader if they can bear with Scott's sometimes digressional style. ( )
  P_S_Patrick | Dec 19, 2017 |
This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.com by express permission of this reviewer     Synopsis I have thought about this, trying to make it short, to no avail. So bear with me please, as I try to pour forth the essence of this book for your perusal in such a time as will not bore you to tears nor drive you senseless with pointless words.   Edward Waverly, young lord, is alive during the 1745 uprising of the Highland Scot's, instigated by the Line of Stuart, to drive out the Line of Hanover from England and replace them with the Line of Stuart. You know, old school politics.   Edward has a father and an uncle, who each fall on one side of the political spectrum. They both decide, for varying reasons that young Edward must join the military. He does, takes a tour of the Highlands and promptly gets embroiled on the side of the Scots. Women are involved. Of course.   The Line of Stuart loses, Edward hides, lots of his Scottish acquaintances are killed and Edward ends up back in the good graces of the Line of Hanover and protects a young Stuart-supporting woman by marrying her and saving her, her father and their estate.   So Edward accidentally gets involved in a war, marries a cute girl and ends up richer and more powerful than when he started.   My Thoughts I know that that synopsis is longer than some of my whole reviews. But I couldn't figure out a way to cut it down. Scott was a poet before he was a novelist, and it shows. His prose is dense, rhythmic and full of the rules of poetry instead of prose. Many things are described, multiple times, to get the point across. Bleh.   The story is so simple that once you parse it down, you wonder why the book is as long as it is. A spoiled young man has an adventure, gets the girl and the treasure. And done. But Scott drags us through the Highland dialect, their customs and makes the hero Edward simply sail through it all. At no point did I ever think that Edward was in danger of life, limb or even fortune.   I enjoyed reading this more than Ivanhoe or even The Heart of Mid-Lothian, mainly because Scott is simply trying tell a story here, albeit in a lyrical, round about kind of way. He hadn't fallen victim to his own success didn't use the Highland dialect for its own sake,nor was he moralizing to pad the word count.   It is History and I think that is partly why I enjoyed it as much as I did. Not a vastly distant history [from the author's viewpoint], but one that he could have researched and fictionalized by the generation that lived it.   So to abruptly end, I highly recommend this as a wonderful introduction to Sir Walter Scott. It is not as meaty as his successive books but it gives a rich aromatic flavor without destroying an undeveloped palate.   Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars Author: Sir Walter Scott " ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
Well, there is a story in there somewhere. Unfortunately WS's writing gets in the way. I find it quite easy to believe that he got paid by the word, whether that is true or not.

I think it would actually work as a comedy, there is a lot of humour in it. Except for the hanging/drawing and quartering part. Though if it were done in Mel Gibson-stylee it could be a laugh as well... ( )
  dylkit | Feb 3, 2014 |
Just arrived from Israel through BM.

The plot of this book tells the story of Edward Waverley and how he became involved in the famous Jacobite Rebellion of 1745.

This book is considered the first true historical novel which inspired many authors, such as Dickens, Trackeray, Stevenson, Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, Balzac, Gogol and Tolstoy.

A classical masterpiece written by this Scottish author.
( )
  Lnatal | Mar 31, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Scott, WalterAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hook, AndrewIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lamont, ClaireEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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‘—And must I ravel out
My weaved-up follies?’
Richard II, Act IV
‘Under which King, Bezonian? speak, or die!’
Henry IV,  Part II.

[this epigraph is found at the beginning of the 2nd volume in the 2 volume edition of Waverley.]
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The title of this work has not been chosen without the grave and solid deliberation which matters of importance demand from the prudent.
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This is the complete novel Waverley (in one or more volumes) which is the first novel written in the series of novels by Walter Scott which came to be known overall as the Waverley novels.  Many volumes of the Waverley novels include descriptions such as Waverley Novels Volume I: this is referring to the position of one of Scott's novels in that publication of the Waverley novels, not to any splitting of Waverley, the novel, into two or more volumes.

If your copy is actually Volume I of a two or three volume edition of the novel Waverley, it should be separated from this page.  If your copy is actually a complete edition of Waverley, the novel, it should be included in this page, regardless of how many volumes make up this single novel.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140430717, Paperback)

Set against the backdrop of the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, Waverley depicts the story of Edward Waverley, an idealistic daydreamer whose loyalty to his regiment is threatened when they are sent to the Scottish Highlands. When he finds himself drawn to the charismatic chieftain Fergus Mac-Ivor and his beautiful sister Flora, their ardent loyalty to Prince Charles Edward Stuart appeals to Waverley's romantic nature and he allies himself with their cause - a move that proves highly dangerous for the young officer. Scott's first novel was a huge success when it was published in 1814 and marked the start of his extraordinary literary success. With its vivid depiction of the wild Highland landscapes and patriotic clansmen, Waverley is a brilliant evocation of the old Scotland - a world Scott believed was swiftly disappearing in the face of a new, modern era.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:21 -0400)

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The first 'historical novel' in English, Waverley (1814) is set at the time of the Jacobite rising of 1745. Edward Waverley, a young English soldier in the Hanoverian army, is sent to Scotland. He visits a Jacobite laird in the Lowlands of Perthshire and then makes his way into the Highlands, where he meets a chieftain and his clansmen. Before long Waverley is caught up in the Jacobite cause, offering his allegiance to Prince Charles Edward Stuart and to the dauntless Flora Mac-Ivor. The hero's journey of self-discovery takes place in a country torn by civil war, as the political outlook of the eighteenth century meets the older social organization of the Highlands in violent confrontation. --Publisher.… (more)

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140430717, 014043660X

Columbia University Press

An edition of this book was published by Columbia University Press.

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