Scott's Legacy

An inventor, pioneer and cultural icon with a global influence.

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Millions of visitors to Scotland’s capital pass beneath the shadow of Scott’s Princes Street monument, the second largest to any writer in the world, or through Edinburgh’s Waverley station, named after the novel that made publishing history in 1814. But Scott’s legacy is not just fixed in stone. His legacy still looms large in architecture, international literature, tourism, and in his ground-breaking contributions to sustainability and landscape management. You can find it in dictionaries, museums, theatres and gardens, and from the Crimea to the White House, in buildings, street names, gifts and even in the seeds and cuttings taken from his home at Abbotsford.

 

VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

Scott’s impact in architecture and the decorative arts as he created this dream home was one of the catalysts for Medieval Revivalism and the Arts and Crafts movement. It was his poems and novels that put Scotland’s landscapes and her people on the map - and ensured that they were there to stay.

But his legacy is far greater than the sum of its parts. For a voice from the past, Scott speaks to us intelligently about a whole host of contemporary issues, from national identity and internationalism to gender equality, industrialisation and revolution. Scott was a historical writer who looked toward the future with his eyes wide open, embracing progress whilst fiercely protective of the social values he felt were under threat. In an uncertain world, his perspective and insight has never had so much to offer us.

There is no art or occupation comparable to planting; it is full of past, present and future enjoyment.

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