Walter Scott's Scottish Tales

Daniel Cook (Editor), Chris Murray (Editor), Phillip Vaughan (Artist), Dan McDaid (Artist), Norrie Millar (Artist), Ell Balson (Artist), Julie Campbell (Artist), Helen Robinson (Artist)

    Research output: Book/ReportBook

    197 Downloads (Pure)


    Happy 250th birthday, Sir Walter Scott! The Edinburgh native was Europe’s bestselling poet before the young upstart Byron took his crown. Then he started a second career in literature, as a pioneer in historical fiction – a genre that still dominates the book charts. Modern readers often baulk at the size of his novels – but Scott also mastered the shorter form. He even produced a collection of shorter fiction, Chronicles of the Canongate (1827), from which we take “The Two Drovers” and “The Highland Widow”.

    A spiky story in which the simmering rivalry between a Highlander and a Yorkshireman leads to murder, “The Two Drovers” offers a slow-burn exposé of national conflict. “The Highland Widow” deals with the fallout of the Jacobite risings in Scotland. Growing up fatherless, Hamish Bean makes the fatal decision to enlist in the British army. Aghast, his proud mother drugs him so he misses his rendezvous. As a deserter, the boy’s punishment is death. Despondent but unrepentant, the childless widow withers away in the land she loves – is she a restless ghost or a sad legend?

    “Wandering Willie’s Tale” comes from Redgauntlet (1824), one of the world’s most popular historical novels set in Scotland. A Gothic storyteller by trade, Willie weaves a tale around the grisly death of a despotic laird, Sir Robert, and the mystery of missing money. A hellish underworld, a demonic monkey, a biased narrator: such things make the text wildly unpredictable. This comic was produced in association with Dundee Comics Creative Space, with funding from the University of Dundee’s Stephen Fry Public Engagement Award, in commemoration of Scott’s 250th birthday.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationDundee
    Number of pages40
    Publication statusPublished - 2021
    EventScott at 250: The Dundee Showcase - Online
    Duration: 23 Sept 202123 Sept 2021


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