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Hunting for Walter Scott
Abstract

Abstract:

Walter Scott has a spectral presence in the early Victorian fiction of R. S. Surtees (1805–1865) that has gone unnoticed. R. S. Surtees was best known as a sportsman, magazine editor (The Sporting Life), and author of comic novels that were notable for their satirical subplots of love and marriage. Rather like Scott, he has fallen from favour with readers, and the frequent references to the Waverley Novels by Surtees seem to be equally unremarked. I would argue that this is another example of what Ann Rigney might describe as a cultural ‘afterlife’ of Walter Scott and one that deserves greater scrutiny. Surtees’ focus on the pleasures and perils of fox hunting parallels Scott’s depictions of the chase as an arena within which he could explore matters of deceit, conflict and negotiation.