Monday, December 10, 2012

Waverley by Sir Walter Scott (1815) Illu.

Now we are really getting back there. Waverley is a good read, I will have to read it again however because the language gap is sooo great!
Scott uses so many unheard of words in  our present day speaking that make whole paragraphs were unintelligible, so you just power through and take the hint of it.

I found this 1961 printing with illustrations by Robert Ball. They are not compelling illustrations but regardless, illustrations always add to the reading experience.

With Waverley Scott basically INVENTED the fictional historic novel format so popular today.

I have been intrigued by the English and their world building penchant. The story is about the last attempt by the Scott's to bring the Stuart "heir" back to the thrown in 1745. Again just like the Souths attempt at succession they were unprepared and over confident (a seemingly common trait of feudal societies as they implode.) If we look at the world in the 18th century we see the changes coming as population explodes and the working class shows it's tremendous ingenuity and ambition. In just another 31 years America will win it's freedom from English rule.

Scott is writing this 60 years after the fact and is trying to give us a picture of the final throws of the feudal Scotland. The translations of Gaelic are just great especially if you have any familiarity with it. Life lessons are few but the "cards we are dealt" is more than a theme, it is the story. Scott lived in a time where being born into a class was how the world was.