Category Archives: Scott, Sir Walter

This Week in My Classes: My Waverley Intervention

My sincere thanks to everyone who weighed in, here or on Twitter, with advice about handling the classroom slump brought on by Waverley. Here’s an update on what I decided to do. First of all, I did decide to do something different, rather than just pressing on with my usual strategies. I had to admit to myself […]

This Week in My Classes: In which I return to Waverley after many years.

In class this week one of my students asked me when I last taught Waverley. “2006-7,” I promptly replied — I knew this because I had gone back to my old files to see what notes and handouts I had in reserve.* It used to be a fixture on my syllabus for The 19thC Novel from Austen […]

The Antiquary: A Treasure-house of Details, But an Indifferent Whole

I finally finished reading Scott’s  The Antiquary, the first of my commitments for the Scottish Literature Reading Challenge. As some of you will have recognized, my title for this post is actually a line from Henry James’s review of Middlemarch. I have quoted that line often, usually as evidence of James’s failure (or refusal) to […]

Google Books Makes the Scottish Literature Challenge More Challenging…

I’m reading Scott’s The Antiquary as one of my books for Wuthering Expectations‘s “Scottish Literature Reading Challenge.” My only hard copy is an elegant but fragile 19th-century edition, but that’s no problem: I just downloaded it from Google Books, “a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it […]

Who Reads Scott Anymore? (A Reprise)

There’s an interesting piece at Standpoint on Scott and historical fiction, by Allan Massie: I still meet people who read and appreciate Scott, and the splendid new Edinburgh edition of his works has led to a reawakening of academic interest. Yet Woolf was probably justified in saying that he had “entirely ceased to influence” other […]

Some People Read Scott, Anyway!

My previous post inspired Amateur Reader to reflect on the joys and challenges of Scott, with engaging posts on The Heart of Midlothian, The Bride of Lammermoor, and Redgauntlet so far: The word that Scott can’t escape is “slack”. Rarely is he in a hurry to get anywhere, so he requires patience, perhaps too much […]

Who Reads Scott Anymore?

Skipping back along a chain of links this morning, I found myself at this article in “The Reader Online” by Brian Nellist, a long-time member of the English faculty at the University of Liverpool (and, among many other things, co-editor of the edition of Margaret Oliphant’s Hester that I recently used in my graduate seminar […]

Dorothy Dunnett, The Game of Kings and Queen’s Play

Reviewing these first two books in the Lymond Chronicles, I have confirmed both that they are exceptionally convincing and vivid historical novels and that it is nearly impossible for me to approach them with anything like critical detachment. Part of the reason is just how well-known they are to me after all these years; another […]

Sir Walter Scott, The Bride of Lammermoor

This novel, like Wuthering Heights, is on my list of “alternates” to consider for my 19th-century fiction course–it would replace Waverley, which I have persisted in teaching for over a decade, despite its inevitable status as least-popular-book-on-the-reading-list. I thought I’d review Bride in particular because not only is it relatively short (OK, by 19thC standards) […]

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