Abbotsford House will open again to the public on Thursday.
One of the great Scottish writers, the genial Sir Walter Scott forged the way to modern novel-writing.
Sir Walter Scott factfile. Source: Encyclopaedia Britannica:
· Born in Edinburgh, 15 August 1771
· Works included The Lady of the Lake, Waverley, Rob Roy, The Heart of Midlothian and Ivanhoe
· Described as "a born storyteller who could place a large cast of vivid and varied characters in an exciting and turbulent historical setting"
· Badly affected by financial collapse of 1825
· Died at Abbotsford, 21 September 1832
· Considered a founder of a "virtually new literary form" the historical novel
· A literary prize is presented in his name annually
Such was the success of The Lay that Scott’s publisher offered him 500 guineas, sight unseen, for his next poem, the ‘tale of Flodden Field’, Marmion (1808). In the person of Marmion, the ‘bold, bad man’, Scott created a new kind of anti-hero, one which would profoundly influence Byron. He followed Marmion with The Lady of the Lake (1810).
Excerpt from 'The Lay of the Last Minstrel', Canto sixth
O Caledonia! stern and wild,
Meet nurse for a poetic child!
Land of brown heath and shaggy wood,
Land of the mountain and the flood,
Land of my sires! what mortal hand
Can e'er untie the filial band,
That knits me to thy rugged strand! ...
Now, visitors to Scotland will be able to wander his ancestral home Abbotsford House and soak up the atmosphere.