Walter Scott

Walter Scott



Walter Scott

Since the time literature appeared it plays an important role in the life of people. English literature is a component of the world literature; it is considered as one of the oldest literatures of the world. Its best national traditions have played an important role in enrichment and development of the world literature. England, Scotland and Wales have produced many outstanding writers. The masters of English literature from the turn of the XIV century to the present are among the world’s greatest literary figures. Such names as William Shakespeare, Geoffrey Chaucer, Christopher Marlowe, Daniel Defoe, Jonathan Swift, George Gordon Byron, Walter Scott Charles Dickens, Bernard Shaw and many others are famous all over the world. Their style of writing has influenced a great number of writers, poets and playwrights from other countries.
In our country literature plays a big role. Such great and outstanding Uzbek writers as Abdulla Kodiri, who wrote a famous novel “Utkan kunlar”, the outstanding poet Alisher Navoiy, who also as an English writer William Shakespeare wrote some great love stories such as “Farhod va Shirin”,”Leyli va Mejnun”, and many others are studied at schools and universities of Uzbekistan and foreign countries.
National literature is the reflection of the history and national peculiarities of people. Each national literature has much in common with the world literature progress, but at the same time has its own specific features as well. One of the characteristic features of the English authors is that they have always been deeply interested in political and social environment of their time. They are parts of the real world, which dramatically influences on what
and how they write. What takes place in the writer’s study is crucial, but it also emphasizes the importance of what takes place in the larger world. We can say that literature helps us to get acquainted with the culture of other people, with the history of any country, with political and social life of any nation which anyway has something in common with the nations of all over the world. Every time we read a book it gives us a lesson, it makes us participate in the story, poem, novel and we get the learning value while analyzing it each time we devote ourselves to literature. This proves the topicalityof the research.
English literature is very rich and includes masterpieces in many forms, particularly a novel. The English writer Walter Scott has created a genre of a real historical novel which is to be analyzed in this paper. Historical novels of English literature are very popular among our students and inhabitants of our country, because while reading a historical novel we can find out a lot of real facts about the country it describes. It has become very helpful for modem students to learn a language, history, cultural and social life of Great Britain. So the further deeper analysis of the genre of a historical novel in English Literature will convince the reader in its important role in modem life as each reader will have the opportunity to compare historical stories with modem ones.
Concerning the aim of the research,it is directed to analyze the origin and evolution of the historical novel in English literature and to link it to the period of Scott’s life as the author began to create a new kind of literature genre and to find out the author’s own opinion, beliefs and assessment of the history.
As we mentioned about the main goal of the work, so we can follow some objectivesto reach it. They are: 1) To get familiar with the Romantic period in English literature 2) To analyze the period of Scott’s life and different styles of his masterpieces while making a comparison between his works.
We are to use not only the methodof text analyses of masterpieces of the author but also the method of confrontation of the periods of Romanticism, during which appeared a new genre in literature called a “historical novel”, with the period when the novels were set.
The theoretical importanceis the study of the historical novel which derives from the English writer Sir Walter Scott. The research also provides the reader with the information about all types of literature genres, the summary and analysis of some historical novels. The research reflects the development of some data about how exact the information relating to real historical events is in some English historical novels and the study of the influence of social events of the certain period to the author’s masterpiece; the further deeper analysis of some novels will help us to get the main idea of the historical novel.
The practical valueof the research is that it can be used in teaching about English historical novel. After the analysis of some historical novels in the research the readers will be taught to use the past seriously in the portrayal of life, to understand the real philosophy of historical novel and the reason of its invention first in English literature. During the seminars the usage of the research can be very useful as far as it contains the arguments of criticism which can be debated during the class. It proves very real philosophy of the
historical novel, which is a good source for student’s motivation to develop the arguments and get the main goal of the research. The practical value also includes an appendix to the research in the form of a lesson plan with materials corresponding to the topic.
The structure of the work.The work consists of the introduction to the research, two chapters, conclusion, list of literature and appendix. Introduction sets the aim, theoretical and practical value of the research. The first chapter tells about the Romanticism in English literature and the appearance of a historical novel while the second chapter contains the analysis of works of the English writer Sir Walter Scott as a founder of a historical novel. Conclusion summarizes the material of the research. Appendix contains the lesson plan on literature class.
The source materialsare really helpful as far as a big amount of information was taken from the following sources: M.Bakoeva, E.Muratova, M. Ochilova. English Literature. Tashkent: Uzbek State World Languages University, Bukhara State University. 2006; Michael Alexander. A History of English Literature. Macmillan, 2000; The World Book Encyclopedia, a Scott Fetzer company 1994, International Copyright; Cosmo F. Ferrara, Gale Cornelia Flynn, Barbara King, Philip McFarland. English and Western Literature. California, Mission Hills, Glencoe 1987.; Elizabeth Ackley, Marlyn Sulsky, Catherine Sagan. Understanding Literature. California, Mission Hills: Macmillan Literature Series, 1987; Robert C. Granner, Malcolm E. Stem. English Literature. Evaston, Illinois: McDougal, Littell & Company 1989; A Theory of Literature A.N. Semenov, Moscow 2003.
Chapter I. Romanticism in English literature and the appearance of a
historical novel
§1. Literary genres
Each literature in this world takes its origin from folklore. Different myths and legends, stories about heroes and gods which were passed down from generation to generation are known as traditional literature. As times passed and the people’s lifestyle changed so the evolution didn’t avoid the literature. Nowadays we can distinguish different literary forms which are called genres.
“Genre” is the term used to describe the various types of literature.“Genre is a French term derived from the Latin genus, generis, meaning "type," "sort," or "kind." It designates the literary form or type into which works are classified according to what they have in common, either in their formal structures or in their treatment of subject matter, or both. The study of genres may be of value in three ways. On the simplest level, grouping works offers us an orderly way to talk about an otherwise bewildering number of literary texts. More importantly, if we recognize the genre of a text, we may also have a better idea of its intended overall structure and/or subject. Finally, a genre approach can deepen our sense of the value of any single text, by allowing us to view it comparatively, alongside many other texts of its type.”
Genres are often divided into sub-genres. Literature, for instance, is divided into three basic kinds of literature, the classic genres of Ancient Greece, poetry, drama, and prose. Poetry may then be subdivided into epic, lyric, and dramatic. Subdivisions of drama include foremost comedy and tragedy, while comedy itself has sub-genres, including farce, comedy of
manners, burlesque, satire, and so on. However, any of these terms would be called "genre", and its possible more general terms implied.
Poetrymakes the senses sizzle. It is a special kind of writing in which language, pictures, and sounds combine, creating a special emotional effect.
As Thomas Carlyle said: “...We are all poets if we read a poem well.’’Poetry is different from prose, the kind of writing that one can find in short stories, novels, and newspapers. Poetry packs meaning into a small number of words, while prose is looser and more lengthy. A line of poetry ends in a particular place because the poet has made an artistic decision based on sense or sound. A line of prose ends when the typewriter rings or the pen hits the right-hand margin of the paper. Poetry is usually written in units called stanzas, while prose is usually organized into paragraphs. Poetry also tends to be more visual and musical than prose. In short, prose speaks and poetry sings.
The subject matter of poetry is wide in range. Not all poems are about “truth and beauty”. Any subject-from football to battles can be shaped into a poem. Poems are placed into two major classes-poems as stories (narratives) and poems as expressions of feelings (lyrics). In addition some of the basic elements of poetry are: speaker, word choice, sound, and imagery. These elements work together to create a unique effect. An understanding of these elements and their interaction will enable any reader to feel poetry’s effect-an intellectual and emotional response.
Poetry includes single, illustrated poems and collections of poetry by one poet or collections of many poets’ works compiled by an editor.
Drama is a play, a story meant to be performed to the audience. Drama is divided in two sections: (1) one-act plays and (2) Shakespearean drama. Drama traces its ancestry to ancient times. The first plays that we know of were performed as part of religious festivals in Greece and by 400 B.C., playgoing was already a popular pastime. The classic playwrights of the Greek playwrights Aeschylus, Aristophanes, Sophocles, and Euripides are still performed today-on stage and film- throughout the world.
Greek theater presented two basic types of drama: tragedy and comedy. A tragedy is a play in which a hero suffers a major downfall. A comedy is a humorous play with a happy ending. Today we still have both types; most plays, however, fall somewhere between the two extremes.
Since drama is meant to be performed, the reader of a play should understand the two basic parts of any drama: (1) the script and (2) the staging. The script of a play is made up of (1) dialogue, which is the speech of the characters, and (2) stage directions, which include instructions for performing a play and descriptions of settings, characters and actions. To enjoy reading drama, one should read stage directions and visualize the play. Very good examples of drama are Shakespeare’s works.
Another kind of literary form is prose, which is a special kind of writing that you find in short stories and novels, which are also can be divided into different types.
Frank O’Connor wrote:
“ ....To me a novel is something that’s built around the character of time, the nature of time and the effects that time has on the events and characters.”
A novel is a long work of narrative prose fiction. Because of its length, a novel can picture life with all of its richness, complexity and contradiction. The result is life like world in which we become more involved than we should in a shorter work. A novel uses the same elements as a short story: plot, character, setting, point of view and theme. The great length of a novel, however allows novelists to deal with more complex aspects of these elements, to present characters of many dimensions in a variety of situation and settings.
Since its beginning in eighteenth-century England, the novel has changed with the times and with new attitudes toward literature and life. Though fiction, the novel has become a record of changing ideas and behavior in a changing world. Therefore, when we read a novel, we can enjoy the adventures of the characters, but we can also learn about life at a given time and place. In addition, no matter how exotic its setting, a novel can help us to understand our own world, our own times.
Fiction includes stories that are made up in the mind of the author. They are “make-believe” or imaginary. The stories are not true, although they may be based on truth, including scientific, historical, or geographic fact.
Some of the major subdivisions of fiction are realistic fiction, historical fiction, and fantasy. Realistic fiction includes stories that seem like real life, and stories that could happen in today’s world. The situations are true to life or could be true, but the characters are made up. Historical fiction includes stories that take place in the past and that are based on historical fact. Usually the setting and the events in the story are close to the facts, but the characters are made up. However, historical fiction may include real people as characters. Examples of books with real people included among the
1 2 characters are Johnny Tremain,by Esther Forbes and I, Juan de Pareja, by
Elizabeth Borton de Trevino. War stories and biographical fiction are types of
historical fiction. Fantasy books are make believe stories that are so fantastic
that they can't possibly be true. They often include animals behaving like
people. Examples are James and the Giant Peach,by Raold Dahl and The
Adventures of Alice in Wonderland,by Louis Carroll.
§ 2. The rise of the English historical novel
A historical novel is a novel that has as its setting a period of history and that attempts to convey the spirit, manners, and social conditions of a past age with realistic detail and fidelity (which is in some cases only apparent fidelity) to historical fact. The work may deal with actual historical personages, as does Robert Graves’s I, Claudius (1934), or it may contain a mixture of fictional and historical characters. It may focus on a single historic event, as does Franz Werfel’s Forty Days of Musa Dagh (1934), which dramatizes the defense of an Armenian stronghold. More often it attempts to portray a broader view of a past society in which great events are reflected by their impact on the private lives of fictional individuals. Since the appearance of the first historical novel, Sir Walter Scott’s Waverley (1814), this type of fiction has remained popular. Though some historical novels, such as Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace (1865-69), are of the highest artistic quality, many of them are written to mediocre standards. One type of historical novel is the purely escapist costume romance, which, making no pretense to historicity uses a setting in the past to lend credence to improbable characters and adventures.
Literary critics examine a range of English historical fictions, from the popular mode of romantic adventure which uses history mainly as an exciting backdrop (Stevenson) , to more ‘serious’ rhetorical constructions of the past in terms of the author’s present view of historical progress (Scott) or degeneration (Gibbon) , to more obviously poetical approaches (Mackay Brown) and explorations of the nature of historical writing itself (Galt, Robertson, Gray). We will analyze the novels of Walter Scott with a view to better understanding a thread of English writing which is not only ‘historical’ but often ‘historiographical’: that is to say, concerned not just with representing the past, but with interpreting and re-shaping such representations.
The novel emerged as a distinct literary form during the 1700's in England. Authors deliberately tried to create belief in their stories. They described the lives of ordinary characters and dealt with the social and economic backgrounds of these people.
Concerning the first English novelists, we regard Daniel Defoe as the first novelist, though his stories do not have unified plots. Defoe's Robinson Crusoe (1719) consists of a series of episodes in the lives of clever and resourceful, but ordinary personage. Robinson Crusoe describes the adventures of a man marooned on an island for 24 years.
Robinson Crusoe (1719) and Moll Flanders (1722) are regarded as the first major novels in English, preferred the first-person narrative form, in which events are recounted by a character who participates in them. Samuel Richardson created novels with well developed plots rather than disconnected episodes. His Virtue Rewarded (1740) is told in the form of letters, most of which are written by Pamela, the heroine, to her family. Through lie letters, the reader follows Pamela's thoughts and feelings. Richardson thus reveals certain psychological aspects of the central character. Henry Fielding wrote The History of Tom Jones, a foundling (1749), which is especially noted for its elaborate, unified plot. This novel tells of the comical adventures of a young orphan. In Joseph Andrews (1742), fielding described the behavior of different classes of people. He emphasized how people's manners either disguise or reveal their true natures. Tobias Smollett wrote amusing, loosely constructed novels about eccentric characters. Most critics consider The Expedition of Humphry Clinker (1771) to be Smollett's best novel. It is written in the form of letters. The novel reveals the personalities of a group of travelers as they meet people of various social classes. Laurence Sterne was one of the greatest experimenters in the history of the novel. His masterpiece is The lite and Opinions of Tristram Shandy Gentleman (1760-1767). Tristram Shandy is an unconventional novel of conversations and remembrances rather than action. The story humorously portrays a great variety of characters, philosophical ideas, and social customs. Gothic novels became widely popular in England covering the late 1700's and early 1800’s. These horror stories tell of mysterious events that take place in gloomy, isolated castles. They have suspenseful, action-packed plots. The best-known Gothic novels include “The Mysteries of Udolpho” (1794) by Ann Radcliffe and “Frankenstein ” (1818) by Mary Shelley.
During the 1800's, English writers improved on the techniques of the early novelists and produced many great works. Authors in France, the United States, and Russia also wrote novels of major literary importance. The romantic movement, which stressed the need for full expression of human emotions and imagination, dominated the literature of the early 1800's. It was followed by the realistic movement, which demanded that literature accurately represent life as it is.
§3. The Romantic Period, the writers of that time and the development of a historical novel
Each period in English Literature is full of outstanding English writers but before the Romantic period the English novel was not developed. The period of Romanticism is known as the period of development of English novel.
The Romantic Movement swept the western world in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. In general, Romanticism was a revolt against science, authority, materialism, and discipline and an affirmation of individuality, imagination, and national heritage. A natural reaction to the strictures of eighteenth-century thought, Romanticism emerged from the same forces that gave rise to the American and French Revolutions and to the agitations for the political, social, and economical change. In some countries the impact of Romanticism was profound, affecting the very foundations of society. In others Romanticism pervaded philosophy, music, art, and literature but exerted less dramatic influence on the other facets of national life.
The Romantic Period in English literature covers the years between 1798 and 1832.The liberal, creative Romantic spirit that infused literature, however didn’t transform English political ,economic, and educational institutions, which remained thoroughly conservative and in many ways more akin to the eighteenth century than to the nineteenth. While intellectuals applauded the American and French experiments in democratic government, the ruling classes were alarmed by the specter of political upheaval and the destruction of social barriers. The dichotomy between artistic ideals and official practice existed throughout most of the Romantic Period, until change finally came as the inevitable result of historical and cultural development.
In England the Romanticists were writers who revolted against the order, property, and traditionalism of the Age of Reason. The Neoclassicists had venerated the literary achievements of the ancient Greek and Roman writers; they had great respect for rules, both in literature and society, and they wrote about the human being as an integral part of organized society, rather than as an individual. The Romanticists, in direct contrast, searched for freer artistic forms, outside the classical tradition. Romantic poets abandoned the measured, witty heroic couplet for the musical rhythms, richly evocative language, and stanza forms of Medieval and Renaissance poetry. Romantic writers concerned themselves with the primitive, the bizarre, the irregular, and the unique, yet they also looked for fresh and lively ways to convey the concrete and the familiar.
To the Romantics the individual was far more interesting than society, and the individual’s relationship to nature was of primary concern. They tended to view society as problematic and corrupt, unlike nature, which they perceived as vital and nurturing, a source of beauty, truth, and wisdom. Instead of reason, the Romantics revered emotion and viewed poetry as “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings.” The lyric poem, with its emphasis on subjective experience, thoughts, feelings, and desires, was the most popular literary form among the Romantic poets.
The poets William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge ushered in Romanticism with their startling declaration of poetic aims in “Lyrical Ballads 1798). The two poets had met in 1795, and, along with Wordsworth’s sister Dorothy, they were intent on seeking new modes of literary expression. Wordsworth had traveled extensively in both Germany and France, where he had become deeply committed to the revolutionary cause. He became a poet of the common man, writing to capture intimate experiences in natural language, without concern for artificial rules and conventions. For both Wordsworth and Coleridge nature and meditation were linked, with insight into the human experience flowing freely from communion with nature. Coleridge also wrote about the bizarre and unnatural, reviving the magic, mystery, superstition, and folklore that had characterized earlier literature. Later in life both Wordsworth and Coleridge turned from radical ideals, becoming conservative upholders of traditional political, social, and religious institutions.
Wordsworth and Coleridge are considered “first-generation” Romantics. A “second generation” followed; these poets were Percy Bysshe Shelly, John Keats, and George Gordon, Lord Byron. Full of raw talent, revolutionary optimism, and admiration for Greek and Italian culture, these three poets produces some of the finest lyrics in the English language. All three died young. Keats died at twenty- five of tuberculosis. Shelly eulogized Keats in the poem “Adonis”, written only months before Shelly himself died in a boating accident at age twenty-nine. Byron died of fever in Greece at age thirty-six.
Despite great admiration for Shakespeare, the Romantics did not produce much original drama. Several of the poets did write poetic dramas: Coleridge wrote “Remorse” (1813); Byron, “Manfred: A Dramatic Poem” (1817); and Shelly, “The Cenci”,“A Tragedy in Five Acts” (1819) and “Prometheus Unbound” (1820). These poems were not successful as drama, however.
Just prior to the Romantic Period, William Godwin, a political theorist, wrote what might be called the first “novel of purpose”. In Caleb Williams (1794) he actively promotes specific political and moral theories. Godwin’s daughter Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly married Percy Shelley and herself became a writer. Her novel “Frankenstein” (1817) combines the novel of purpose with a form already popular in England, the Gothic novel of mystery and terror.
The Romantic Age also had its share of essayists, biographers and journalists. The poets themselves wrote significant critical works, such as Wordsworth’s “Preface” to “Lyrical Ballads”, Coleridge’s “Biographia Literaria” (1817), and Shelly’s “A Defense of Poetry” (1821). Keat’s letters are justly famous. Charles Lamb, one of the great English essayists, wrote during this period, as did Leigh Hunt, William Hazlitt, and Thomas
DeQuincey, other well known essayists and critics. Like the poets, these writers rebelled against eighteenth-century literary forms and made their prose more personal and casual.
The Romantic period produced two great novelists, Jane Austen and Sir Walter Scott. Their novels drastically differed from each other. Though Jane Austen wrote during the height of the period, she remained remarkably unaffected by Romantic literary influences. Her plots concerned domestic situations. Austin wrote about middle-class life in small towns and in the famous resort city Bath. More than anyone since Fielding, she regarded the novel as a form of art which required a close and exacting discipline. The resulting narratives were so inevitable in their movement, so precise in their realism, that they gave the impression of ease, but the facility was a gift to the reader, exacted from the fundamental brainwork of the author. Her integrity as an artist was shown by the fact that she had continued to write and revise novels even when her work seemed unlikely to find acceptance from the publishers. Austen remained in many ways a neoclassical writer, producing ironic comedies of manners, such as her incomparable Pride and prejudice (1813). Her works, though, contain Romantic elements: a focus on the details of daily life and a preoccupation with character and personality. The later novels lack the continuous comedy and the semblance of spontaneity. In compensation, they have a more complex portrayal of characters, a more subtle irony, deeper, warmer-hearted attitude to the players of her scene. Jane Austin respected the novel as a great art. In “Northanger Abbey” (1818) she had satirized “the terror” novel, and in her work she substituted her cleverly worked realism and comedy. The complete control of her world gives her work a Shakespearian quality, though the world she controlled was smaller.
Although she received little public recognition during her life time, Austin is now one of the best-loved English novelists who helped to develop a modem novel.
Scott was a complete Romantic, producing historical novels such as “Ivanhoe” (1819) and narrative verse “The Lady of the Lake” (1810), that show a typical Romance interest in superstitions and legends, in the Medieval Period and in the Scottish history and culture. Small wonder that the historical novel is a Scottish ‘invention’ a modem and progressive way of explaining and dramatizing the past. But history in such novels can seldom be understood as the objective reconstruction of ‘what happened’. From the early Scottish Romanticism, writers have been highly sensitive to the politically charged and partly imaginative process by which remembered events are shaped into coherent narratives; by which history is recorded, transmitted, preserved, manipulated; and by which ‘historicity’ - the aura of authentic oldness - is marketed and consumed. The Scottish people are mainly from two groups.
The Scots of the Highlands have Celtic origins. The people of the rest of Scotland are mostly Anglo-Saxon, similar to the people of northern England. For many centuries, there were great conflicts between the Celtic and Anglo-Saxon groups. However, over time the people of Scotland have become more unified. Scotland is also home to people of Irish, Lithuanian, Italian, Polish, and South Asian descent.
Historical novels range in quality from the lowest-grade fiction to the most outstanding literary works. For a writer of little ability, history offers casts of characters and ready-made plots. All the author need do is embellish them and tell a lively story to keep the reader interested. History may even be revised a bit to suit a purpose.
Nowadays is a particularly exciting time to be involved in the field of historical fiction. Over the past few years, author and reader interest in the past has grown. More and more authors, even authors who have found success in other genres, are choosing to write historical novels. The success of recent films such as Gladiator, Elizabeth, Shakespeare in Love - all set at various times in the past — demonstrate this interest as well.
Sir Walter Scott created and popularized historical novels. Such novels recreate the atmosphere of a past period and include actual characters and events from history. Scott wrote a long series of historical novels, including “Waverley” and “Ivanhoe ” (1819).
Chapter II. Sir Walter Scott as a founder of a historical novel
and the analysis of his works
§1. The life of Walter Scott as a poet and novelist
Walter Scott was born on August 15, 1771 in Edinburgh, Scotland. His father was an Edinburgh lawyer and had a large family. Scott, when he was not yet two years old, fell ill with a disease that left him lame. His parents thought country air would be good for him and sent him to his grandparents’ farm. It was a place with hills and rode his pony at a gallop. He learned to love the solemn history of Scotland and liked to recite Scottish ballads and poems.
Scott enjoyed taking trips into the Scottish countryside. The trips gave him profound knowledge of the life of rural people, and provided material for his first major publication, “Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border” (1802- 1803).The book was a collection of popular songs and ballads and consisted of three volumes.
At the suggestion of his father, Scott became a lawyer and practiced for fourteen years. During his business trips he visited the places of famous battles and collected old ballads. Like many writers belonging to Romantic trend, Scott felt that all the good days were gone. He wished to record all the historical facts he knew before they were forgotten.
Scott's interest in the old Border tales and ballads had early been awakened, and he devoted much of his leisure to the exploration of the Border country. The writer spent his early years in Sandy-Know, in the residence of his paternal grandfather. There his grandmother told him tales of old heroes. At the age of eight he returned to Edinburgh. He attended Edinburgh High School (1779-1783) and studied at Edinburgh University arts and law (1783- 86, 1789-92). At the age of sixteen he had already started to collect old ballads and later translated into English Gottfried Burger's ballads 'The Wild Huntsman' and 'Lenore' and 'Goetz of Berlichingen' (1799) from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's play. Scott was apprenticed to his father in 1786 and in 1792 he was called to the bar. In 1799 he was appointed sheriff depute of the county of Selkirk. Scott married in 1797 Margaret Charlotte Charpentier (or Charpenter), daughter of Jean Charpentier of Lyon in France. They had five children. Sir Walter Scott devoted a lot of his future poems to the theme of love:
"Love rules the court, the camp, the grove,
And men below, and saints above;
For love is heaven, and heaven is love.”
(from The Lay of the Last Minstrel, 1805)
Literary critics divide Scott’s works into three groups:
The first group of novels are those devoted to Scottish history: “Waverley, or “Tis Sixty Years Since” (1814), “Guy Mannering, or the Astrologer”
(1815) , “The Autiquary” (1816), “Black Dwarf’ (1816), “Old Mortality”
(1816) , “Rob Roy” (1817), “The heart of Midlothean” (1818), “The Bride of Lammermoor” (1819), “A legend of Montrose” (1819), “Redgauntlet” (1824), “The fair Maid of Perth” (1828).
The second group of novels refers to English history:
“Ivanhoe” (1819), the best of this series; “The Monastery” (1820), “The Abbot” (1820), “Kenilworth” (1821), “The Pirate” (1822), “The Fortunes of Nigel” (1822), “Peveril of the peak” (1822), “Woodstock” (1826).
The third group comprises novels based on the history of the Europe:
“Quentin Durward” (1823), “The Talisman” (1825), “Count Robert of Paris” (1832), “Anne of Geierstein” (1829), “Castle Dangerous” (1832).
In Marchl802, Scott's first major work “Minstrelsy of the Scottish border” appeared. As a poet Scott rose into fame with the publication of “The Lay of the Last Minstrel” (1805) about an old border country legend. He had burned its first version, when his friends did not like it. Scott returned to the poem in 1802, when a horse had kicked him and he spent three days in bed. “The Lay of the Last Minstrel” became a huge success and made him the most popular author of the day. It was followed by “Marmion” (1808), a historical romance in tetrameter, set in 1513, and concerning the attempts of Lord Marmion to marry the rich Lady Clare. In 1810 “The Lady of the Lake”
appeared and in 1813 “Rokeby” was written. Scott's last major poem, “The Lord of the Isles”, was published in 1815.
These poems reproduce old legends and combine them with historical material. They were written with great poetic skill and poet became very famous. But when Byron’s wonderful poems appeared, Scott, to quote his own words, “left the field of poetry to his rival'1'' who by that time was already a friend of his. He took to writing novels. It marked a new period in Scott’s creative work. Verses from “The Lady of the Lake”, including “Hail to the Chief who in triumph advances!" were put to music by James Sanderson (1769-1841) and became the march traditionally played to honor of the president of the United States.
In 1806 Scott became a clerk to the Court of Session in Edinburgh - this work took only a few hours daily and half of the year he was free. Scott spent his long holidays at Ashestiel, situated on the Tweed River. To increase his income he started a printing and publishing business with his friend James Ballantyne. The firm had in the 1810s financial difficulties, and Scott spent his time in immense labours for his publishers, much of it hack editorial work. Scott also expanded during these years his Abbotsford estate, but it was not until 1826 when the final crash came. He accepted all Ballantyne's debts and decided to pay them off with his writings - the sum was £130,000 (millions today). In his diary he wrote: "I become a sort of writing automaton, and truly the joints of my knees, especially the left, are so stiff and painful in rising and sitting down, that I can hardly help screaming - it’s me that once was so robust and active..." Difficulties lasted. To be more productive he used a massive desk with two desktops and kept two projects going at a time.
Writer and poet, a bom storyteller and master of dialogue, one of the greatest historical novelists, whose favorite subject was his native Scotland. Scott's influence as a novelist was profound. He established the form of the historical novel and his work inspired the writers from all over the world. Walter Scott created a historical novel as a major form. He reached the greatest audience and had the most profound effect of any British Romantic. Scott invented an immensely popular form of the novel, taught his generation and later ones how to use the past seriously in the portrayal of life, showed the great value of common people to the writer of fiction, and evolved an unarticulated but very real philosophy of History much like the one Hegel influenced Honore de Balzac and Victor Hugo in France, Wilhelm Hauff, Theodor Fontane, and the historian Leopold von Ranke in Germany, Alessandro Manzoni in Italy, Thomas B. Macaulay, William Makepeace Thackeray, Charles Dickens, George Eliot and the Brontes in England, and James Fenimore Cooper.
Scott wrote twenty-seven historical novels in a series called the Waverley Novels. In his novels Scott arranged the plots and characters so the reader enters into the lives of both great and ordinary people caught up in violent, dramatic changes in history.
Scott’s work reflects the influence of the 18th century enlightenment. He believed every human was basically decent regardless of class, religion, politics, or ancestry. Tolerance is a major theme in his historical works. The
Waverley Novels express his belief in the need for social progress that does not reject the traditions of the past. He was the first novelist to portray peasant characters sympathetically and realistically, and was equally just to merchants, soldiers, and even kings.
Central themes of many of Scott’s novels are about conflicts between opposing cultures. “Ivanhoe” (1819) is about the war between Normans and Saxons. “The Talisman” (1825) is about conflict between Christians and Muslims. His novels about Scottish history deal with clashes between the new English culture and the old Scottish. Scott's other great novels include “Old Mortality” (1816), “The Heart of Midlothian’' (1819), and “St. Ronan's Weir (1824). His Waverley series includes “Rob Roy (1817), “A Legend of Montrose” (1819), and “Quentin Durward” (1823).
Scott published several novels anonymously under the pseudonym 'Author of Waverley' in 1810. The Quarterly Review, founded by Scott greeted the anonymous Waverley (1814) as ‘a Scotch Castle Rackrent’ but ‘in a much higher strain’. “Waverley”, or, “Tis Sixty years Since” deals with a larger subject more directly, the Jacobite Rising of 1745,in which Bonnie Prince Charlie, backed Highland clans loyal to the deposed House of Stuart, advanced as far as derby before retreat and defeat.
Scott’s initial approach is oblique, establishing Edward Waverley as a decent young English gentleman who has spent his youth, like Cervantes’ Don Quixote, reading romances of chivalry. He is an innocent blank page. Finding himself in Scotland with his detachment of Dragoons, he is charmed by Scottish hospitality and manners, and by Rose Bradwardine. He is then captivated by Highland life, and smitten with Flora Maclvor, whom he sees in the glen in a scene of ‘romantic wildness’.
Eventually he joins Flora’s bold brother Fergus in the Prince’s army. He orders a pair of tartan trews (a compromise between English trousers and Highland kilt), and sees bloody action. He gradually sees that he is being used by Fergus. Captured, Fergus and his clansman face death bravely. Flora becomes a Benedictine nun in Paris. Waverley marries Rose Bradwardine: a happy Union! But the orotund prose is not naively Romantic: the too- picturesque vision by the waterfall is presented with some irony. Like Don Quixote and Flaubert’s Emma Bovary, Waverley falls for images from books. The making of the trews by James of the Needle is a parody of the arming of an epic hero. The tragic Highland romance is set inside a British novel about a young Englishman who wisely marries a Lowland Scott.
Scott’s success was immediate, immense, and international. Waverley was followed by twenty-five Scottish historical novels, notably “The Antiquary “(1816), “Old Mortality” (1816), “The heart of Mildlothian ”(1818) and “Redguantlet” (1824), and English medieval romances, beginning with “Ivanhoe ” (1819); also numbers of plays, biographies, essays, and editions. Thanks to Scott, Edinburgh saw the Prince Regent in a kilt (and pink tights) taking a dram of whisky: a swallow which made the summer of Scottish tourism. Scott, the first Briton to be made a baronet for writing books, may be the most influential of all British Novelists. His historical novels use a new social history to recreate the past through characters imaginary and real. He combined wide reading in 18th century antiquarians with fluent composition and narrative. Leisurely and detailed in exposition, he sets up several centers of interest; the action then develops energy and drama. He made the past imaginable, with a sympathetic grasp of the motives and influences shaping the actions of the groups and individuals. His characterization is benign, detached, humorous, owing in its social scope, with low-life characters. His reconstruction of how things happen in history is broad, penetrating and subtle, and his plots are expertly managed. In his Scottish novels he sought to make the differing versions of Scottish history mutually intelligible to their inheritors, using a new relativistic historical and anthropological approach to reconcile sectarian traditions, so that a Scotland who understood herself could be known to England. Scott was a patriot and Unionist.
The greatest commercial success of ‘the Wizard of the North’ was “Ivanhoe ”, the first of the English romances which succeeded his Scottish novels. It created the costume-drama industry which turns out ‘good reads’ and bodice-rippers. In Scott’s English medieval pageants, drawn from reading rather than local knowledge, the use of theatrically-posed scenes, as of Flora and Maclvor at the waterfall, loses both irony and Scottish iron. His popularity and reputation eventually faded, and his generosity of style means that he seems long-winded compared with snappier imitators. The success of “Ivanhoe” and its sequels should not conceal the achievement of the author of Waverley, a historical novelist of range, grasp and balance. “Ivanhoe” is the first of Scott’s works to be set in England, published in 1819.
In 1820 Scott was called the 1st Baronet. A few years later he founded the Bannatyne Club, which published old Scottish documents. Scott visited France in 1826 to collect material for his “Life of Napoleon”, which was published in 9 volumes in 1827. A few years earlier Scott had started to keep his Journal, recording in courageous spirit his deteriorating health and other misfortunes. His wife, Lady Scott, died in 1826, and the author himself had a stroke in 1830. Next year Scott sailed to Italy. In Malta he wrote one novel and a short story, and in Naples he collected old songs and ballads. After return to England in 1832, he died on September 21. Scott was buried beside his ancestors in Dryburgh Abbey. From the profits of his writings all his debts were ultimately paid.
Walter Scott wrote outstanding historical novels, where he describes real historical events, but as it was said earlier some historical events in his novels were unarticulated and irrelevant. The reason for this fact can be any, but fiction detracts from the history and vice versa. It is possible that Scott made some changes in the real historical plot in order to do it more interesting for the reader although in his novels he mentions about the real historical resources he used to describe some events. Walter Scott’s historical inaccuracies were criticized because the author implied his own versions of historical events, his own beliefs into his novels and sometimes didn’t follow the sequence of centuries.
Nevertheless, Scott had a mastery of the manners, customs, cardinal characteristics and circumstances of the chivalry past, and was so profoundly in sympathy with its spirit, that he was able to confer an atmosphere of reality on the period he seeks to illustrate, for which we may look in the records of careful scientific historians.
In the case of the purely Scottish novels, he was more at home and more completely master of his materials; but, for that reason, he was, perhaps, less careful about historic accuracy in details. ” No such persons, for example, as
Rashleigh, or Francis Osbaldistone, or Miss Vernon, or her father, were associated with any Jacobite rising ; and, in addition, the whole financial story on which the plot turns is hopelessly confused. Further, Rob Roy, a historical personage, never played any part in connection with Jacobitism at all similar to that assigned him in the novel. Then, in “Waverley ”, the Fergus Maclvor whose ambitions occupy much of our attention is just an interpolation, and by no means is a happy portrait of a Highland chief; and, in Redgauntlet, the second appearance of prince Charlie in the north of England without foundation either in fact or in tradition. Again, in “The Abbot”, historic truth is even more wantonly violated—violated after a fashion that tends to confuse the reader. While the Setons were very devoted followers of Queen Mary, the Henry Seton and Catherine Seton of the novel are only imaginary creations. Although Mary Seton, one of “the four Marys,” was sent for by the queen to attend on her in England, and Lord Seton met her shortly after her escape from Lochleven , no lady of the name of Seton was in attendance on her in Lochleven castle. What is worse, the Lady Mary Fleming, whom Scott represents as in attendance on her there is apt to be confounded either with Lady Fleming, who was the Queen’s governess in France, or with Mary Fleming, one of the four Marys, who, by this time, was the wife of Maitland of Lethington. Further, while Scott may partly be excused for his version of the nature of the pressure on the queen to cause her to demit her crown, he is specially unfortunate in representing Sir Robert Melville as deputed by the council to accompany Lord Lindsay on his mission, though his presence undoubtedly adds to the effectiveness of the scene with the queen. Again, in “Old Mortality ”, Scott found it advisable, for artistic purposes, to place Henry Morton in a more immediately dangerous position than could possibly have been his; and, on the other hand, the indulged minister Poundtext, whom he represents as seeking to exercise a moderating influence in the council of the rebels, could not have been there, since none of the indulged ministers took part in the rebellion. Many minor errors of detail in his Scottish novels have also been pointed out by critics; but the important matter is his mastery of the multifarious characteristics of the period with which he deals and his power to bring home to the reader its outstanding peculiarities.
In the non-Scottish novels, and in Scottish novels of earlier periods of history, the spirit of romance is the prevailing element. Here, the portraiture of characters, except in the case of main figures, is generally superficial. Such humorous or eccentric personages as are introduced cannot compare with those who, in the novels of the more modem periods, indulge in the vernacular; they are a kind of hybrid creation, suggested, partly, from the author’s own observation and, partly, by books. In the Scottish novels of the more modern periods, while the romance is of a more homely kind, and has, also, for us, lost its freshness in a manner that the earlier or the foreign element has not, there is included, on the other hand, that immortal gallery of Scottish characters to which allusion has already been made, and the creation of which—however highly his purely romantic genius may be estimated—is the most definite testimony to his greatness.
Sir Walter Scott, created and popularized historical novels. Such novels recreate the atmosphere of a past period and include actual characters and events from history. Scott wrote a long series of historical novels, including Waverley and Ivanhoe (1819).
§ 2 “Waverley" as the first historical novel
The first and the most popular historical novel written by Sir Walter Scott in 1814 was Waverley.Initially published anonymously in 1814 as Scott's first venture into prose fiction, Waverley is often regarded as the first historical novel. The novel became so popular that Scott's later novels were advertised as being "by the author of Waverley". His series of novels on similar themes written during the same period have become collectively known as the "Waverley Novels". Waverley Abbey is noted by English Heritage to be Sir Walter Scott's inspiration for this novel. However, this was probably not the case. The novel met with considerable success. There followed a succession of novels over the next five years, each with a Scottish historical setting. Mindful of his reputation as a poet, he maintained the anonymous habit he had begun with Waverley, always publishing the novels under the name Author of Waverley or attributed as "Tales of..." with no author. Even when it was clear that there would be no harm in coming out into the open he maintained the fa$ade, apparently out of a sense of fun. During this time the nickname The Wizard of the North was popularly applied to the mysterious best-selling writer.
Waverley is set during the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, which sought to restore the Stuart dynasty in the person of Charles Edward Stuart (or 'Bonnie Prince Charlie'). The opening paragraph of chapter viii is frequently considered one of the major attempts at describing the specifically Scottish landscape in some detail. It relates the story of a young dreamer and English soldier, Edward Waverley, who was sent to Scotland in 1745. He journeys North from his aristocratic family home, Waverley-Honor, in the south of England (alleged in an English Heritage notice to refer to Waverley Abbey in Surrey) first to the Scottish Lowlands and the home of family friend Baron Bradwardine, then into the Highlands and the heart of the 1745 Jacobite uprising and aftermath. The English eponymous protagonist, Edward Waverley, has been brought up in the family home by his uncle, Sir Everard Waverley, who maintains the family Tory and Jacobite sympathies, while Edward's Whig father works for the Hanoverian government in nearby London. Edward Waverley is given a commission in the Hanoverian army and is posted to Dundee, then promptly takes leave to visit Baron Bradwardine, a Jacobite friend of his uncle, and meets the Baron's lovely daughter Rose.
When wild Highlanders visit the Baron's castle Waverley is intrigued and goes to the mountain lair of Clan Mac-Ivor, meeting the Chieftain Fergus and his sister Flora who turn out to be active Jacobites preparing for the '45 Rising. Waverley has overstayed his leave and is accused of desertion and treason, then arrested. Highlanders rescue him from his escort and take him to the Jacobite stronghold at Doune castle then on to Holyrood Palace where he meets Bonnie Prince Charlie himself. Encouraged by the beautiful Flora Mac- Ivor, Waverley goes over to the Jacobites and takes part in the Battle of
Prestonpans, where he saves the life of a colonel who turns out to be a close friend of his uncle. Thus he escapes retribution and marries the Baron's daughter, Rose Bradwardine (symbolically choosing the moderate, family- oriented Rose over the romantic, politically motivated Flora).
Scott's work shows the influence of the 18th century enlightenment. He believed every human was basically decent regardless of class, religion, politics, or ancestry. Tolerance is a major theme in his historical works. The Waverley Novels express his belief in the need for social progress that does not reject the traditions of the past. The book shows how the author portrayed peasant characters sympathetically and realistically, and was equally just to merchants, soldiers, and even kings. Walter Scott's historical novel “Waverley1’ broke with these traditions. Scott did not write to satisfy the audience with temporal escapism, nor did he threaten the boundaries between fact and fiction with his works, as Constantin de Renneville had done with his “French Inquisition ” (1715). Scott's work remained a novel, a work of art. He used the art of imagination to reevaluate history by rendering things, incidents and protagonists as only the novelist was allowed to do. His work remained historical fiction, yet it questioned existing historical perceptions. The special power was partly gained through research: Scott the novelist, resorted to documentary sources as any historian would have done, but as an artist he gave things a deeper significance. Attracting a far wider market than any historian could address, and rendering the past vividly, his work destabilized public perceptions of that past.
The Romanticist inquiry into the distinctive natures of different things is considered to explain why particular mental orientations or crucial turns of thought in the literature of the period are frequently marked by some kind of
"species" identification. Probably the most dramatic example occurs in Frankenstein, when the title character — after wavering between opposed truth-possibilities in a manner that recalls Scott's Edward Waverley -- finally finds himself (literally) in identification with his own species.
The division in the Waverley family had been caused by the English Civil War of the mid-seventeenth century. Fear of civil war is ever-present in Waverley not just as subject matter or historical reality, but a primal fear as deep in Scott as in Shakespeare as manifested by various allusions throughout the novel and by direct references to Henry V and Henry VI in chapter 71.
Edward Waverley is like Don Quixote in that his worldview is the result of his reading, an unstructured education consisting of much curious, though ill-arranged and miscellaneous information. Although Scott himself notes in his instructions to his readers that: “From the minuteness with which I have traced Waverley's pursuits, and the bias which they unavoidably communicated to his imagination, the reader may perhaps anticipate, in the following tale, an imitation of Cervantes. But he will do my prudence injustice in the supposition. My intention is not to follow the steps of that inimitable author, in describing such total perversion of intellect as misconstrues the objects actually presented to the senses, but that more common aberration from sound judgment, which apprehends occurrences indeed in their reality, but communicates to them a tincture of its own romantic tone and coloring. ”
The heroines of the Waverley series of novels have been divided into two types: the blonde and the brunette, along the lines of fairness and darkness that marks Shakespearean drama, but in a much more moderate form.
The proper heroine of Scott is a blonde. Her role corresponds to that of the passive hero - whom, indeed, she marries at the end. She is eminently beautiful, and eminently prudent. Like the passive hero, she suffers in the thick of events but seldom moves them. The several dark heroines, no less beautiful, are less restrained from the pressure of their own feelings...They allow their feelings to dictate to their reason, and seem to symbolize passion itself. This is evident in Waverley. Rose is eminently marriageable: Flora is eminently passionate.
We can observe the same division of heroines into two types in another Scott’s novel “Ivanhoe”. The novel tells about chivalry times in England.
§ 3. The analysis of the historical novel "Ivanhoe"
Ivanhoe Sir Walter Scott’s most popular novel, and the first of his works to be set in England, published in 1819. The period is the reign of Richard I. The classic formula for the historical novel calls for an age when two cultures are in conflict, one dying and the other being bom. Into this cultural conflict, fictional characters participate in actual historical events among actual historical persons; the interaction of these elements results in an immediate picture of a bygone age.
Ivanhoe is the story of one of the remaining Saxon noble families at a time when the English nobility was mostly Norman. It follows the Saxon protagonist, Wilfred of Ivanhoe, who is out of favour with his father because of his love for the Lady Rowena and for his allegiance to the Norman king Richard I of England. The story is set in 1194, after the end of the Third
Crusade , when many of the Crusaders were still returning to Europe. King Richard, who had been captured by the Duke of Saxony, on his way back, was still supposed to be in the arms of his captors. The legendary Robin Hood, initially under the name of Locksley, is also a character in the story, as are his 'merry men,' including Friar Tuck and, less so, Alan-a-Dale. (Little John is once mentioned.) The character that Scott gave to Robin Hood in “Ivanhoe ” helped shape the modem notion of this figure as a cheery noble outlaw.
The modem vision of Robin Hood as a cheerful, patriotic rebel owes much to Ivanhoe. "Locksley", although first mentioned as Robin's birthplace in 1600 and used as an epithet in one ballad, becomes Robin's title in this novel and hereafter: Robin Hood from Locksley becomes Robin of Locksley, alias Hood. The Saxon-Norman conflict first mooted as an influence on the legend is made a major theme by Scott, and remains so in many subsequent retellings. Although Scott actually shuns the convention since the sixteenth century of depicting Robin as a dispossessed nobleman, Ivanhoe has
e ^
contributed to this strand of the legend too: because subsequent Robin Hoods take on Wilfred of Ivanhoe's own characteristics - they are returning Crusaders, have quarreled with their fathers, and so forth. Robin's feat of splitting his competitor's arrow in an archery contest appears for the first time in “Ivanhoe ".
Other major characters include Ivanhoe's stubborn Saxon father Cedric, a descendant of the Saxon King Harold Godwinson; various Knights Templar
and churchmen; the loyal serfs Gurth the swineherd and the jester Wamba, whose observations punctuate much of the action; and the Jewish moneylender, Isaac of York, equally passionate of money and his daughter, Rebecca. The book was written and published during a period of increasing struggle for Emancipation of the Jews in England, and there are frequent references to injustice against them. The book opens with a scene of Norman knights and prelates seeking the hospitality of Cedric the Saxon, of Rotherwood. They are guided thither by a Palmer, fresh returned from the Holy Land. The same night, seeking refuge from the inclement weather and bandits, the Jew Isaac of York arrives at Rotherwood. From the very beginning Scott introduces a reader to the atmosphere of XII century England and to the events of that time, describing different nations and their relationships with each other.
The central conflict of the novel lies in the struggle of the Anglo-Saxon landowners against the Norman barons, who cannot come to an understanding. There is no peace among the Norman conquerors either. They struggle for power. Prince John tries to usurp the throne of his brother Richard, engaged in a Crusade at that time. The two brothers back different tendencies concerning their relations with Anglo-Saxons. John wishes to seize all the land and subdue the Anglo-Saxons completely, while Richard supports those, who tend to cooperate with the remaining Anglo-Saxon landowners. The latter tendency was progressive, because it led to peace and the birth of a new nation.
At the head of the remaining Anglo-Saxon knights is a thane, Cedric the Saxon. He hopes to restore their independence by putting a Saxon king and queen on the throne. He wants to see lady Rowena, who has been descended from Alfred the Great, as the queen and Athelstane of Coningsburgh as a king. But Cedric has a son, Ivanhoe, who destroys his father’s plan by falling in love with Rowena. Cedric becomes angry and disinherits his son. Ivanhoe goes on a Crusade where he meets King Richard, and they become friends. On their return to England, Richard with the help of the Saxons and archers of Robin Hood, fights against Prince John for his crown and wins. At last Cedric understands the impossibility of the restoration of the Saxon power and becomes reconciled to the Normans.
This book is written with the great descriptive skill for which Scott is famous. He was a master of painting wonderfully individualized expressive and vivid characters. While observing the heroines of “Ivanhoe” we can find a common peculiarity with the “Waverley” heroines. One of the heroines of the novel is blonde and marriageable Rowena; another is brunette and passionate Jewish girl Rebecca. Among other things, the book is noteworthy for having a very sympathetic Jewish major character, Rebecca, considered to be the book's real heroine — relevant to the fact that the book was published at a time when the struggle for the Emancipation of the Jews in England was gathering momentum. Scott depicted Rebecca as a very positive personage calling for the peace among the nations. The Jewish girl represented the person’s best qualities in “Ivanhoe”.
It has been conjectured that the character of Rebecca in the book was inspired by Rebecca Gratz, a preeminent Jewish American educator and philanthropist who was the first Jewish female college student in the United
States. Scott's attention had been drawn to Gratz's character by Washington Irving, who was a close friend of the Gratz family. The claim has been disputed, but it has also been well sustained in an article entitled "The Original of Rebecca in Ivanhoe", which appeared in The Century Magazine, 1882.
Gratz, considered among the most beautiful and educated women in her community, never married, and is told to have refused on account of her faith a marriage proposal from a Gentile whom she loved - a well-known incident at the time, which may have inspired the relationship depicted in the book between Rebecca and Ivanhoe.
We can find out some allusions to real history and geography from this novel, as it’s called ‘historical’. For example the location of the novel is centred upon South Yorkshire and North Nottinghamshire in England. Castles mentioned within the story include Ashby de la Zouch where the opening tournament is held (now a ruin in the care of English Heritage).The scene of the famed tournament of Ashby-de-la-Zouche, which was presided over by Prince John Lackland of England. Besides the prince, the other characters in attendance are Cedric, Athelstane, the Lady Rowena, Isaac of York, his daughter Rebecca, Robin of Locksley and his men, Prince John's advisor Waldemar Fitzurse and numerous Norman knights. In the first day of the tournament, a bout of individual jousting, a mysterious masked knight identifying himself only as "Desdichado", supposedly Spanish for the "Disinherited One" (though actually meaning "Unfortunate"), makes his appearance and manages to defeat some of the best Norman lances including the Templar Sir Brian de Bois-Guilbert, Maurice de Bracy, a leader of a group of 'Free Companions' or mercenary knights, and the baron Reginald Front-de-Boeuf. The masked knight declines to reveal himself despite Prince John's request, but is nevertheless declared the champion of the day and, as his due, is permitted to choose the Queen of the Tournament, which honour he bestows upon the Lady Rowena. Describing a tournament, Scott mentioned about the places of tournaments which are the English Heritage nowadays and the knights who kept the chronicles of their triumphs and achievements. The author sorrowed in the book that no one nowadays is interested in what they died for. The only ruins of ancient castle Ashby-de-la-Zouche reminds of the times of chivalry tournaments.
'Coningsburgh', which is based upon Conisbrough Castle near Doncaster is also English Heritage and a popular tourist attraction. Although the general political events depicted in the novel are relatively accurate - it tells of the period just after King Richard's imprisonment in Austria following the Crusade, and of his return to England - the story is heavily fictionalized. In fact, the Normans considered themselves to be socially and ethnically elite, and operated a medieval version of apartheid. Scott's depiction of late 12th century society fits well with this research. One inaccuracy in Ivanhoe created a new name in the English language: Cedric. The original Saxon name is Cerdic but Sir Walter committed metathesis. A major inaccuracy is that it would be quite impossible for Rebecca to be sentenced to burn for witchcraft in England in 1194. The Church did not undertake the finding and punishment of "witches" until the 1250s, and death did not become the usual penalty until
the fifteenth century; even then, the form of execution used for witches in England (unlike Scotland and Continental Europe) was hanging, burning being reserved for those also convicted of high or petty treason. The novel's references to the Moorish king Boabdil are also anachronistic, since he lived about 300 years after Richard. Although Scott was severely criticized by historians for his inaccurate account of Saxon-Norman enmity persisting into the 12th century, the success of his novel lies with its skilful blend of fact, myth and romance, combined with a vivid, if fanciful, interpretation of medieval life.
We can feel the atmosphere of the XII century in this book because Scott mentioned even about small details of that time while describing the struggles, the clothes of the characters and the houses they lived in. We notice also that Scott wrote his novel from the first person narrator and informed the reader about the historical sources with the help of which he could describe the real historical events in his novel. Writer described about the conflict between Saxons and Normans, mentioned about the power of church at that time, the status of Jewish nation in England, and the matter of honor of the knights at that time.
So, while reading this book we can say that the main idea of the book is to call for peace and compromise. Scott wanted to reconcile the hostile classes. He believed that social harmony was possible if the best representatives of all classes were united in a struggle against evil. The idea is
expressed in the novel “Ivanhoe” in the episode when the Norman King Richard, together with Robin Hood and his merry men, attack the castle of the Norman baron to set the Saxon thanes free. This incident shows how the allied forces of honest men, though from hostile classes, conquer evil.
History plays a great role in the life of each person and society as far as it makes us to think about present and the future, as far as it makes us not to repeat the same mistakes. So when history is reflected in the novel in an interesting way with the participation of different characters it means for the readers to enjoy and analyze not only the novel but also a true historical event.
Via the analysis of the genre of a historical novel we saw Scott’s present view of a historical progress. His novels are interpreted according to his beliefs and his own assessment of the past connected with the author’s feeling of patriotism and nationalism. These feelings were relevant to the Period of Romanticism as far as romanticists made emotion, and not the reason. The form of a historical novel has been seen as fundamentally unstable, the fiction detracting from the history and vice versa. But a there was a problem of ‘how to produce the greatest amount of dramatic effect at the least expense of historical truth’. The historical novel has always been a literary form at the war with itself. The very term, implying a fiction somehow grounded in the fact - is suggestive of the contradictions of the genre. A good interpretation of the past is very helpful to see and understand the present times.
In some ways Scott was the first English-language author to have a truly international career in his lifetime, with many contemporary readers all over Europe, Australia, and North America. His novels and poetry are still read, and many of his works remain classics of both English-language literature and of Scottish literature. Famous titles include Ivanhoe, Rob Roy,
The Lady of The Lake, Waverley, The Heart of Midlothian and The Bride of Lammermoor
So, finally we can say that Sir Walter Scott was a real founder of a historical novel (Napoleonic Wars awakened national feelings, as one more example). He described historical moment in which an important crisis caused personal problems in individuals or group of individuals (Ivanhoe —»conflict between the Anglo-Saxons and the Normans) and usually his characters were men seeking peace and tranquility, most of which were fictional but some were real ones. While reading Scott’s novels we understand that he makes us live in the past, he captured the spirit of an age, without going deeply into the causes of the historical events; he reproposed chivalrous values of the past, gave an original dimension to the European Novel and his novels became a bridge between the Gothic Tales of the 18th century and the serial narratives of the 19th.
Most of us read fiction for pleasure, but some of us gravitate especially to works about the past. People have been enjoying historical fiction since 800 BC when Homer wrote about the Trojan War in the Iliad. It carries us out of our own time and place into worlds that may seem utterly different from ours. And yet these worlds really existed. A deep understanding of them can help us understand our own time and our own motivations better.
It is often said that those who do not read history are doomed to repeat it. By blending history and fiction, a good historical novel lets us do more than simply read history: it lets us participate in the hopes, fears, passions, mistakes and triumphs of the people who lived it. It gives us an emotional as well as an intellectual understanding of the past.
List of literature
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29. Cam, Helen, Historical Novels (London: Historical Association, 1961)
30. White, Hayden, ‘The Historical Text as Literary Artifact’, in The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, ed. by Vincent B. Leitch (New York: Norton, 2001), pp. 1712-29
Course on teaching English Historical novels
Historical novels teach psychology, geography, history, and English literacy, all in one addictively entertaining package.
Walter Scott is beyond doubt Scotland's most significant and best known writer of fiction. His significance lies beyond this, however, for his roles of poet, editor and collector as well as his lasting literary influence make him one of the most culturally significant of nineteenth-century figures both in Scotland and internationally. This course aims to explore the full cultural, critical and historical backgrounds to Scott's work and to examine all aspects of his writing career. It will suggest a range of intellectual avenues by which students might develop postgraduate interests in Scott.
The aims of the course are:
• To enhance understanding of the cultural, critical and historical backgrounds to Scott's work
• To introduce students to the full range of Scott's literary activities including editing, collecting and poetry and novel writing
• To enhance understanding of Scott's wider literary and cultural influence
• To explore intellectual avenues by which students might develop postgraduate interests in Scott
• To encourage students to formulate their own critical responses, and develop their own theoretical approaches or methodologies for the study of Scott and his work
By the end of the course students should have:
A: Knowledge and Understanding of:-
The cultural critical and historical backgrounds to Scott's work
A selection of texts by Scott from a variety of genres
The wider cultural influence of Scott
A variety of critical and methodological avenues by which Scott may be approached
C: Practical Skills - able to:-
Think and speak cogently about Scott's work and its wider cultural contexts using new knowledge, theory or methodology
Write critically about Scott's work taking full account of all its contexts
Discuss Scott's work in a variety of critical, historical and cultural contexts


B: Intellectual Skills - able to>
Think in a sophisticated way about the cultural critical and historical contexts surrounding Scott
Comprehend the relationship between a body of literature and the cultural contexts in which it is produced
Reflect upon the relationships between a writer's various literary activities
Evaluate a range of critical responses to Scott
Formulate new critical approaches or positions towards Scott's work
D: Transferable Skills - able to:-
Discuss complex issues with clarity and cogency both orally and :in writing
Write clearly, succinctly, grammatically and idiomatically
Organize study time effectively
Offer an articulate, comprehensible and effective oral presentation
Formulate their own research questions in relation to the topic studied
These outcomes will be achieved by the following strategies:

A: Knowledge and Understanding
Students will be directed towards specified texts by Scott and the course guide will include a list of supplementary reading.
Seminars will be devoted to detailed discussion of the texts, particularly in the context of the wider frameworks in which they were produced. Students will be directed towards exploring the detailed cultural and critical contexts of the texts via private study.
Seminar discussion will illuminate the relationship between Scott and the contexts in which his work was produced and introduce students to a range of critical approaches to Scott.
Seminar discussion will explore Scott's work via a range of his literary activities.
Seminar discussion will encourage students to formulate their own approaches to Scott's work.
C: Practical Skills
Seminar discussions and the preparation of oral presentations will encourage students to analyze texts and to think, write and speak cogently about the set texts, both as individual works of literature and within the wider cultural contexts in which they were produced. Students will be encouraged to use appropriate techniques and terminology to discuss the range of critical responses which Scott's work invites. They will also be encouraged to bring new knowledge, theory or methodology to these texts.
The essay will provide students with practice in writing about selected cultural and stylistic aspects of literature with reference to the set texts and to comment on the particular strategies adopted by Scott. 
В: Intellectual Skills
Seminar discussion, written work and the preparation of oral presentations will encourage students to think about Scott's work in a sophisticated way.
Seminar discussion, written work and the oral presentations will include a detailed examination of texts, prompting students to reflect on the cultural, historical and literary contexts in which writing is produced.
Seminar discussion, written work and the preparation of oral presentations will encourage students to evaluate a range of critical responses to Scott's work.
D: Transferable Skills
The School's 'Guide to Written Work' will spell out basic rules of correct writing.
Guidelines in the course handbook on the oral presentation will encourage effective oral skills.
The essay will give students practice in writing grammatically and idiomatically.
Supplementary lectures and tutorials will assist those students who require help with writing and oral presentation skills.
Formative assessment will encourage an articulate, comprehensive and effective oral presentation.
Clearly specified submission dates will help students to organize their study time effectively.
Essay topics will be negotiated with the course convener encouraging students to formulate their own research topics in relation to the texts studied.
Set Texts
Waverley (1814; Oxford World's Classics, 1986, frequently reprinted)
The Antiquary (1816; Penguin, 1998 or Oxford World's Classics, 2002) Chronicles of the Canongate (1827; Penguin, 2003)
The Heart of Mid-Lothian (1818; Penguin, 1994, frequently reprinted) Ivanhoe (1820; Penguin, 2000)
Week 1: Introduction: Scott and his World
Week 2: Scott the Poet: The Lay of the Last Minstrel (course handout)
Week3: Writing Scotland: Waverley
Week 4: Scott as Editor / Editing Scott (course handout)
Week 5: Scott and Antiquarianism: The Antiquary
Week 6: Formal Experimentation: Chronicles of the Canongate
Week 7: Mixing Genres: There is no set text for this meeting which will draw on all the set texts for the course as a basis for discussion. However, students should be reading ahead for next week's seminar on The Heart of Mid- Lothian. We will also discuss essay topics in this class.
Week 8: Narrative Texture: The Heart of Mid-Lothian
Week 9: Scott and Medievalism: Ivanhoe
Week 10: Scott Resources at the University of Aberdeen: The Bernard C. Lloyd Collection
Week 11: Scott in the Twenty-first Century: New Critical Directions
For this seminar each member of the class is required to identify an article on Scott published within the last 5 years and summarize its argument for the rest of the class. The purpose of this seminar is to identify possible research topics in the context of modem Scott studies.
Class members will be required to deliver 15-minute presentations on their proposed essay topics for this class.
There are three elements in the assessment of this course: an essay of 3 - 3500 words (80%) and two oral presentations (10% each).
The Essay
Topic: As developing your own research questions is a crucial aspect of postgraduate work students will be encouraged to formulate their own topics for the essay.
Length: essays should be between 3000 and 3500 words long, including quotations and footnotes; work which is either too long or too short will be penalized.
Basis of assessment: Good essays will be identified by the application of new knowledge, methodology or theory, quality of argument, use of evidence, relevance to topic and quality of expression.
Essays will be marked using the common assessment scale.
Inaccuracies in punctuation, spelling, grammar, idiom, referencing and bibliography, and sloppiness in presentation (numerous insertions, deletions, coffee stains, etc.) will be penalized by the deduction of up to 4 marks.
Format: Essays should be word-processed wherever possible.
Presentations should last no longer than 15 minutes. In addition to the criteria used in assessing essays papers will also be judged by their immediate comprehensibility and the effect upon the seminar. They will be marked using the common assessment scale.
A 5 00-word summary of the presentation must be handed to the tutor on the day of the presentation for scrutiny by the external examiner. The first presentation will be on a topic related to the subject of a seminar and the second will be on the proposed essay topic.
Moderation: A copy of all written work submitted will be kept by the course convener for scrutiny by the moderator and external examiner.
J. H. Alexander and David Hewitt (eds) Scott in Carnival (1993)
David Brown, Walter Scott and the Historical Imagination (1979) 3L
A.O. J. Cockshut, The Achievement of Walter Scott (1969)
Julian Meldon D'Arcy, Subversive Scott: The Waverley Novels and Scottish Nationalism (2005)
Ian Duncan, Modern Romance and the Transformations of the Novel: The Gothic, Scott, Dickens (1992) 3L
Despite Scott's efforts to preserve his anonymity, almost every reviewer guessed that Waverley was his work. Many readers too recognized his hand. One, Jane Austen, wrote: "Walter Scott has no business to write novels, especially good ones. — It is not fair. He has Fame and Profit enough as a Poet, and should not be taking the bread out of other people's mouths.— I do not like him, and do not mean to like Waverley if I can help it — but fear I must".
The opening five chapters are often thought to be dour and uninteresting, an impression in part due to Scott's own comments on them at the end of chapter five. However, John Buchan thought the novel a 'riot of fun and eccentricity', seemingly a minority opinion. Scott does, however, attempt to be comic, or at least to follow the conventions of the picaresque novel. The comments on the relay of information via Dyers Weekly Letter, the self-explanatory name of the lawyer, Clippurse, Sir Everard's desire and courting of the youngest sister, Lady Emily, all point in this direction.
In Eckermann's Conversations with Goethe, Goethe lauded Waverley as "the best novel by Sir Walter Scott," and he asserted that Scott "has never written anything to surpass, or even equal, that first published novel." He regarded Scott as a genius and as one of the greatest English writers of his time, along with Lord Byron and Thomas Moore. Discussing Scott's talent as a writer,
Goethe stated, "You will find everywhere in Walter Scott a remarkable security and thoroughness in his delineation, which proceeds from his comprehensive knowledge of the real world, obtained by lifelong studies and observations, and a daily discussion of the most important relations."
E. M. Forster is renowned as one of Scott's fiercest and unkindest critics. His critique has received fierce opposition from Scott scholars who believe his attack is a symptom of his ignorance, perhaps of literature, but more certainly of all things Scottish. This hostility reaches academic circles, as is made evident by Alan Massie's lecture The Appeal of Scott to the Practising Novel, the inaugural lecture at the 1991 Scott conference. Defence of Scott subsumes a defence of a national culture against the attacks of Englishness. Others have, however, suggested that this misrepresents Forster's case.
Georg Lukacs has been responsible for re-establishing Scott as a serious novelist. Lukacs is most adamant in his belief that Waverley is the first major historical novel of modem times. This is clear from the distinction he draws between the eighteenth-century novel of manners, where social realities are described with little attention to diachronic change, and the emption of history in the lives of communities, as occurs in historical novels. Furthermore, that Waverley marks an important watershed is firmly stated in Lukacs' opening sentence, that "The historical novel arose at the beginning of the nineteenth century at about the time of Napoleon's collapse." 

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The Novel in the Early Nineteenth Century:
Jane Austen and Sir Walter Scott

Background: Literature at the end of the 18th century:

  • the emergence of Gothic novels: Horace Walpole: The Castle of Otranto (1765); Mrs. Ann Radcliffe: The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794): Gothic characterized by suspense, mystery, terrifying, at times even supernatural events, extreme landscapes, villains and heroes.
  • emergence of women writers from the middle class: Frances Burney: Evelina (1778); Camilla (1796); Maria Edgeworth: Castle Rackrent (1800) – their popular novels focused on manners and morals (comedy of manners), heroines were women.

Jane Austen (1775-1817)
Born into a family of eight children, she lived her isolated life among the members of her family, never married.
Literary influence: high and low – Richardson and Fielding, Dr. Johnson, Burney, Radcliffe, Edgeworth. Austen’s literary reputation is at present at its highest, she is appraised as a modern writer due to her handling of form. She lived when Romanticism was at its peak but was never affected by it. Manuscripts of Northanger Abbey, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice existed in the 1790s, but she reworked them a few years before her death and added new novels to the existing ones. Main theme: marriage. Social setting: small world of the country gentry. Detailed depiction of manners, speech. Keen interest and delight in character-drawing.
Pride and Prejudice (1813)
Mansfield Park (1814)
Emma (1815)
Persuasion (1816)
Pride and Prejudice - Narrative technique: the characters are observed from a single angle, narrator’s point of view is Elizabeth’s. She is the “sifting agent”, through whom or by whom the other characters can be seen. Characters are often described through their speech and manners. 
Style: lucid, vivid, ironic, witty. Structure: like a three-act comedy: crescendo, crisis, dénoument. Epistolary technique is used to help relate scenes where the heroine could not be present. Austen’s view on the best promise of happiness in marriage: a sound education, a marriage based on similar dispositions as well as love and social decorum. The faults of characters are due to mostly bad education (lack of good breeding and manners) and want of training.

Walter Scott (1771-1832)
The “father” of the historical novel and the modern short story:
Historical novel – a novel in which the story is set among historical events and the time of action is not synchronous with the lifetime of the author. It takes the reader into the past where the historical events serve as a background. Historical characters may appear in the story. The novel is based on extensive research.
Scott first acquired fame through his poetry:
Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border (1802-1803) collected and written together with John Leyden
The Lay of the Last Minstrel (1805)
The Lady of the Lake (1810)
With Byron eclipsing his popularity as a poet, Scott turned to writing novels:
Waverley (1814) –the first historical novel
Guy Mannering (1815)
Rob Roy (1818)
The Heart of Midlothian (1818)
Ivanhoe (1820)
Kenilworth (1821)
Quentin Durward (1823)
Redgauntlet (1824)

“The Two Drovers” (short story) were included in the Chronicles of Canongate (1827). Conflict between English and Scottish Highland culture. Scott was primarily interested in history and cultural changes, especially the conflict of cultures (→ border theory). His best novels are on the Scottish theme (Waverley novels) – the changes in history and how this affects the characters’ lives, mixing Scottish folklore into the text with the vernacular. The marvelous, superstitious is present at times. Scott’s definition of the romance: “a fictitious narrative in prose or verse, the interest of which turns upon marvelous and uncommon incidents;” whereas the novel is a “fictitious narrative, differing from the romance, because the events are accommodated to the ordinary train of human events, and the modern state of human society.”


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