Who Was Walter

So you think you know all about Scotland’s Greatest Storyteller? Think again.

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Walter Scott was born in Edinburgh's Old Town in 1771. Despite his illustrious career, he was the child of an ordinary middle-class family and worked hard for his wealth and status. Now he is considered one of the most influential Scotsman of the last two centuries…

Through his wildly popular series of ‘Waverley Novels’, he brought the Scots language to the masses and introduced his nation’s history and unique character to the world. He passionately fought for the restoration of Scotland’s symbols of state, rediscovering her Crown Jewels, long hidden following the Jacobite wars of the 18th century. He defended Scotland’s currency in the wake of the 1820s banking crisis and contributed more words and phrases to the English language than any other writer barring Shakespeare. He inspired writers across the world to explore their own national heritage and to bring it to life….

And yet Scott is seldom spoken of in Britain in the same breath as Robert Burns, Jane Austen or Charles Dickens.

 

Often remembered as a difficult nineteenth-century novelist who people once read, sometimes accused of being politically dispassionate, too privileged or ostentatious, Scott is a complex man often reduced to a palette of black and white. In 2021, the 250th anniversary of his birth, we aim to present Scott’s astonishing life and legacy in full cinematic colour.

Delve into the topics on our sidebar to discover how Scott has shaped our modern world and continues to have relevance to the debates and issues of today. Meet one of the past’s most brilliant minds, trying to make sense of the age-old conflicts between the heart and head, extremism and moderation, tradition and progress and nationalism and unity.

Look Back, And Smile On Perils Past

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Sign up to our mailing list for updates and news from Walter Scott 250 and the Abbotsford Trust.