Sir Walter Scott

1771-1832

WRITER

Scott was born in Edinburgh and from an early age began to explore the country, listening avidly to Scottish songs and stories. Called to the bar at 21, he served on the bench as sheriff depute for a spell before being appointed a clerk of session in 1806. In the previous year he had published his long poem, Lay of the Last Minstrel. The novel Waverley was published anonymously in 1814, and his prose output thereafter was prodigious - 23 books in 12 years. Scott's novels were immensely popular, not only in this country. He was deeply patriotic, and his writing is credited with having rekindled the embers of Scottish national sentiment.
His Edinburgh home during this period was at no. 39 North Castle Street. In 1826 the business failure of Scott's publisher, John Ballantyne (with whom Scott was in partnership) precipitated the great crisis in the author's life. Characteristically he vowed to repay the creditors by means of his writing. Scott became a literary workaholic. In heroically tackling what seemed an impossible task, Scott undermined his health, and seven years later he died at his beloved Abbotsford, near Melrose in the Borders. He did, however, achieve his honourable goal, for the last of his debts were cleared with sums realised on the security of copyright of his popular works.
Gordon MacLeod provided this very useful link for reference on Sir Walter Scott
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