Scott invented the modern historical novel. In a rapid succession of best-sellers, he brought to life
public image of Scotland's history and landscape, and in so doing he gave birth to Scotland's
In the Edimburg Review, the severe critic Francis Jeffrey wrote about Waverley:
the mere force, and truth, and vivacity of its colouring, already casting the whole tribe of ordinary
novels in the shade."
Do you agree or disagree with this statement. Support your view with quotations from the text.
Scott realized his strengths and weaknesses as a novelist. In a revealing passage in his Journal
he compared himself, to his disadvantage, with his contemporary Jane Austen:
"That young lady had a talent for describing the involvements and feelings and characters of
ordinary life which is to me the most wonderful I ever met with. The Big Bow-wow strain I can do
myself like any now going but the exquisite touch which renders ordinary common-place things
and characters interesting from the truth of the description and the sentiment is denied to me"
Draw a comparison between Scott's and Austen's literary style. Visit Jane Austen's Page at