Thursday, December 07, 2006

Random Facts: Sir Walter Scott

Did you know...
  • ...that Walter Scott contracted polio when he was 18 months old? He walked with a limp for the rest of his life (probably one reason why the Romantics loved him--they loved people with limps).
  • ...that Scott's great-aunt Margaret Swinton, a source for many of his stories including The Bride of Lammermoor was hacked to death by a crazed woman servant?
  • ....that when Scott wrote The Bride of Lammermoor he thought he was dying, so the novel is uncharacteristically dark, pessimistic, and Gothic in nature.
  • ...that Scott wrote The Bride of Lammermoor (and several other works) under the pseudonym Jedidiah Cleishbotham? (somehow, no one was fooled...)
  • ...that Scott is considered the father of the historical novel?
  • ...that Coleridge HATED Ivanhoe and The Bride of Lammermoor? He called them "wretched abortions", although he liked the witch women in The Bride.
  • ...that Scott wrote 27 novels in about 15 years, writing 3 all in 1819 alone--also publishing other works and serving as a Clerk of Session for the Scottish Court, and as a Sheriff. Oh, he also literally worked himself to death, after continuing to write after suffering from 4 strokes.
  • ...that he quit writing poetry after Lord Byron came on the scene and displaced him as the reigning top poet in England--seriously, he read Byron's work and decided that Byron was talented, so he turned to writing novels.
  • ...that he loved and appreciated Jane Austen's work, unlike many contemporary male authors.

I think that's all the random facts about Walter Scott I have floating around in my head.

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