SCOTT, SIR WALTER (1771-1832): Few Important Notes on Historical Novel

SCOTT, SIR WALTER (1771-1832)

An Accident: An early childhood fever affects a permanent lameness.

Aspects of Writing:  Rapidity of literary productions. 

Major Writings:
1.      Edition of ballads- The Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border- in 1802-1803.
2.      His first romantic narrative poems- The Lay of the Last Minstrel (1805), Marmion (1808), The Lady of the Lake (1810), The Bridal of Triermain (1813), and The Lord of the Isles (1815).
3.      Turn to the Historical Novel: Waverley (1814) ,Guy Mannering (1815), Old Mortality (1816), The Heart of Midlothian (1818), Rob Roy (1818), The Bride of Lammermoor (1819), Ivanhoe (1819), Kenilworth (1821), Quentin Durward (1823), and The Fair Maid of Perth (1828). Life of Napoleon Buonaparte (1827) 

Influences: Charles Dickens and William Makepeace Thackeray in England as James Fenimore Cooper in America, Honoré de Balzac in France were among the many who learned from Scott's panoramic studies of the interplay between social trends and individual character.

Historical Novel and SIR WALTER SCOTT’s  Contributions:  Historical Novel- a work of fusion of fictional and historical elements-  Scott views history as centrifugal and the novel as centripetal (Ivanhoe , Quentin Durward )- used the facts of history for purposes of romance (Kenilworth)-  often violates chronology – invented situation- glamorized the past- gave no interpretation of the psychology of his characters.

Art  of Characterization: For the variety, truth, and aliveness of Scott’s characters he has probably no equal since Shakespeare- He stresses the nationality rather than the individuality of the character- Extremely complex characterization- Scott is successful in drawing humble life , peasant like, odd and eccentric characters- not so successful in painting his heroes and heroines:  they are literary and poetic- faulty being faultless human being- Conception to higher class women: romantic, masculine; Scottish and peasant women : lively.

SIR WALTER SCOTT‘s Limitations: Could not create successful spiritual character- psycho-analysis of the characters.

Time span of Scott’s Novel: Covers  European, Scottish and English history.