The Heyday of Sir Walter Scott

The Heyday of Sir Walter Scott

The Heyday of Sir Walter Scott

The Heyday of Sir Walter Scott

Excerpt

At bottom this is no more than a report on desultory reading over several years, mostly in books that were once more fashionable than they are now. I have enjoyed this reading, I try to explain why, and I pass on the tips for what they are worth.

However, because all of these works by common consent hang together, being all products of the one well-defined phase of literary history which my title indicates, I have not been able to consider them together without raising certain larger issues: what romanticism is, and what its enduring value is -- at least as it expresses itself in the novel; what 'plot' means, and how important it is, in the novel; and what 'realism' means.

I believe it is true that Scott is nowadays read more often by people for whom literature is a marginal interest than by those for whom it is central; more often by scientists, for instance, than by professional students of literature. I think this is a great pity. And in the course of this book I try to say why.

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