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Sir Walter Scott Scottish Novelist and Poet

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Sir Walter Scott Scottish Novelist and Poet. By Sara Smith. Early Life. was born August 15 1771 in College Wynd, in Old Town of Edinburgh to a solicitor Caught polio and survived however he lost use of his right leg Sent to Sandyknowe , his grandparents farm, in order to restore his health

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early life
Early Life
  • was born August 15 1771 in College Wynd, in Old Town of Edinburgh to a solicitor
  • Caught polio and survived however he lost use of his right leg
  • Sent to Sandyknowe , his grandparents farm, in order to restore his health
  • Taught to read by his aunt Jenny, who influenced the speech patterns and tales/legends which he used in later works
  • given private tutoring in arithmetic and writing by James Mitchell
  • attended grammar school in Sandyknowe and met James Ballantyne who later became his business partner
  • Nov. 1783,at age 12, started studying at the University of Edinburgh
  • Began an apprenticeship with his fathers office
  • Later became a lawyer in Edinburgh
sir walter scott
Sir Walter Scott

Smailholm Tower

“Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive!”


writing influence
Writing Influence
  • Work is influenced by the 18th century Enlightenment
  • His work is popular throughout Europe during his time period
  • Believed every human was practically decent regardless of class, religion, politics and ancestry
  • Major theme in historical works is tolerance
  • Waverley novels express belief in need for social progress
  • First novelist to portray peasants realistically and equal to merchants, kings and soldiers
  • Central theme of many novels were conflicts between opposing cultures
start of literary career
Start of Literary Career
  • Began to write at 25 by translating works from German
  • Became an ardent volunteer in yeomanry where he met and later married Margaret Charlotte Charpentier in 1791
  • Had five children together
  • Invested in money over time through various jobs and events like being a lawyer, sheriff-deputy, wife’s income, inheritance and from writing
  • Founded a printing press with his poetry
  • Succeeded in publishing numbers of poems over the next ten years
other accomplishments
Other Accomplishments

“Breathes there the man, with soul so dead, Who never to himself hath said, This is my own, my native land!” – The Lay of the Last Minstrel


Sandyknowes farm as seen from Smailholm Tower

Portrait by Henry Raeburn

Portrait by Sir Edwin Henry Landseer

novel life
Novel Life
  • Waverley and other to follow within the first five years all followed Scottish historical setting
  • Always published novels under the name Author of Waverley or as “the Tales of…” with no author
  • many years passed and when he could finally come out in the open he chose to remain hidden and used the name The Wizard of the North
  • When he published ivanhoe he steered away from Scottish history to English romance in 12th -century.
  • Wrote several books which were sympathetic towards Jews- were written around the time of the Emancipation of Jews in England.
  • As his fame grew he was granted title of the baronet, which became Sir Walter Scott
  • He included little punctuation in his drafts and mostly left them for the printers to supply
downfall to death and major c ontributions
Downfall to Death and Major Contributions
  • Around 1825 started to go bankrupt, his company almost collapses
  • Instead of declaring bankruptcy he traded in his house and income to his creditors hoping to get out of debt
  • He kept writing and publishing fiction until he died in Abbotsford in 1832
  • Was buried in Dryburgh Abbey
  • Abbotsford House was a farmhouse which was developed into an enriched palace that Scott bought over time costing him over £25,000
  • He essentially invented the modern historical novel
  • Influence the Edinburgh's central railway station now called Waverley Station
  • He contributed to the reinvention of Scottish culture
  • His novels followed the rehabilitating of public perception instead of following southern distrust of hill bandits