Antiquary

ISBN-10: 0199555710
ISBN-13: 9780199555710
Edition: 2009
List price: $15.95 Buy it from $13.56
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Description: 'It was early in a fine summer's day, near the end of the eighteenth century, when a young man, of genteel appearance, having occasion to go towards the north-east of Scotland, provided himself with a ticket in one of those public carriages which  More...

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Book details

List price: $15.95
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 7/26/2009
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 528
Size: 7.75" wide x 5.00" long x 1.50" tall
Weight: 0.836

'It was early in a fine summer's day, near the end of the eighteenth century, when a young man, of genteel appearance, having occasion to go towards the north-east of Scotland, provided himself with a ticket in one of those public carriages which travel between Edinburgh and the Queensferry...'So begins Scott's personal favourite among his novels, in characteristically wry and urbane style, as a mysterious young man calling himself 'Lovel' travels idly but fatefully toward the Scottish seaside town of Fairport. Here he is befriended by the antiquary Jonathan Oldbuck, who has taken refuge from his own personal disappointments in the obsessive study of miscellaneous history. Their slow unravelling of Lovel's true identity will unearth and redeem the secrets and lies which havedevastated the guilt-haunted Earl of Glenallan, and will reinstate the tottering fortunes of Sir Arthur Wardour and his daughter Isabella.First published in 1816 in the aftermath of Waterloo, The Antiquary deals with the problem of how to understand the past so as to enable the future. Set in the tense times of the wars with revolutionary France, it displays Scott's matchless skill at painting the social panorama and in creating vivid characters, from the earthy beggar Edie Ochiltree to the loqacious and shrewdly humorous Antiquary himself.The text is based on Scott's own final, authorized version, the 'Magnum Opus' edition of 1829.

Scott was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, the son of a writer. As a young boy, he contracted polio and was sent to his grandfather's farm to recuperate. While there, he came to know and love the Border country, which figures prominently in his work. Scott began his literary career by writing metrical tales. "The Lay of the Last Minstrel," "Marmion," and "The Lady of the Lake" made him the most popular poet of his day. Sixty-five hundred copies of "The Lay of the Last Minstrel" were sold in the first three years, a record sale for poetry. His later romances in verse, "The Vision of Don Roderick," "Rokeby," and "The Lord of the Isles," met with waning interest owing to the rivalry of Byron, whose more passionate poetic romances superseded Scott's in the public favor. Scott then abandoned poetry for prose. In 1814 he anonymously published a historical novel, Waverly, or, Sixty Years Since, the first of the series known as the Waverley novels. He wrote 23 novels anonymously during the next 13 years. The first master of historical fiction, Scott wrote novels that are historical in background rather than in character: A fictitious person always holds the foreground. In their historical sequence, the Waverley novels range in setting from the year 1090, the time of the First Crusade, to 1700, the period covered in St. Roman's Well (1824), set in a Scottish watering place. Scott wrote novels covering every period of European history from the eleventh to nineteenth centuries, except the thirteenth century. Scott's last years were plagued by illness, yet in 1831 and 1832 he toured the Mediterranean aboard a government frigate. He died at Abbotsford soon after his return and was buried in the ruins of Dryburgh Abbey.

MARY A. FAVRET teaches English and Women's Studies at Indiana University and is author of Romantic Correspondence: Women, Politics and the Fiction of Letters. NICOLA J. WATSON teaches English at Northwestern University and is author of Revolution and the Form of the Novel 1790--1825: Intercepted Letters, Interrupted Seductions.

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