Walter_Scott_WaverleyA major anniversary taking place in Scotland  this month is the bicentenary of the publication of Sir Walter Scott’s novel, Waverley, arguably the first ever historical novel.

The book was first published on 7 July 1814 and sold like hot cakes, but not everyone was happy about it. Here is what a seemingly scunnered ( Scottish word meaning, to be sick of) Jane Austen had to say on the matter of Scott suddenly transposing his talent for writing poetry to penning novels:

“Walter Scott has no business to write novels, especially good ones. – It is not fair. He has Fame and Profit enough as a Poet, and should not be taking the bread out of other people’s mouths.– I do not like him, and do not mean to like Waverley if I can help it – but fear I must”.

To find out more about the sensation that Waverley caused when it was first published (it struck Edinburgh ‘with an electric shock of delight’, Lord Cockburn said, and all copies of it in the city were sold in 48 hours), visit the Wikipedia page. Source ScotlandsPeople.

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