Cover

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Title Page, Series Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-v

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

Bibliographical Note

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p. ix

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Preface

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pp. xi-xv

IT IS THIRTY YEARS since The Hero of the Waverley Novels was written. When the book first appeared, Scott's novels were rarely studied in universities on either side of the Atlantic, and his vast popular readership had been shrinking since the end of the nineteenth...

Chronological List of the Waverley Novels

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p. xvii

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I. Romance

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pp. 1-20

THE PRACTICE of fiction in the lifetime of Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) generally differed from the main tradition of the English novel in both the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Dickens and Thackeray, Fielding and Smollett viewed the world...

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II. The Passive Hero

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pp. 21-39

A SOLILOQUY from The Fortunes of Nigel supplies the best introduction to the hero of the Waverley Novels. This romance is set in the London of James I and is imbued with the spirit of the public stage of that era: in the antics of his apprentices and in the...

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III. Character and Topography

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pp. 40-62

THE ACTIONS and commitment of the passive hero in the Waverley Novels are so restricted that any activity depends upon other sources of energy. Two sorts of agents supply the necessary impetus to the plot. Some romances depend upon out-and-out...

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IV. Property

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pp. 63-85

THE DENOUEMENT in the Waverley Novels obeys an economic motive: the passive hero and blonde heroine ordinarily inherit a superabundance of real property. According to William Paley's Principles (1785), of which there were twenty-one editions...

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V. The Heart of Mid-Lothian

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pp. 86-100

IF ALL THE Waverley Novels The Heart of Mid-Lothian enacts the most comprehensive study of moral themes. The wayward Effie Deans is accused of child murder: under a particular and severe statute of the time, the state does not have to prove...

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VI. Anxiety

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pp. 101-117

THE WAVERLEY NOVELS convey a public wish-dream. The very persons who stand for "the measure of sound sense and reality" are rewarded by a highly wishful and fanciful future of unending happiness. The social and political reality celebrated in...

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VII. Rob Roy

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pp. 118-133

THE ADVENTURES of the hero of Rob Roy seem arbitrary in the extreme. He is merely placed at the scene of action and informed from time to time of impalpable dangers. Even more than Harry Bertram of Guy Mannering, Francis Osbaldistone is "the...

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VIII. Honor

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pp. 134-154

THE POINT of Rob Roy would be gravely mistaken ii we imagine Frank Osbaldistone to be a poet. He is a gentleman, whose slight ability in verse is a mere amateur grace. His "principal attention had been dedicated" not to literature alone but "to literature...

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IX. OLD MORTALITY

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pp. 155-177

OLD MORTALITY is Scott's highest achievement in historical 'and political fiction. As a work of art coming to grips with moral conflict, it rivals The Heart of Mid-Lothian in complexity; as an act of courage in exploring the validity of an armed revolution...

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Contrast of Styles in the Waverley Novels

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pp. 178-190

SIR WALTER SCOTT'S first novel was begun and then put aside, and a number of beginnings and statements of intent are still discernible in its pages.1 Intermingled with the hero's nearly involuntary journey toward the highlands, these statements of the literary...

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History and Revolution in Old Mortality

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pp. 191-212

SCOTT HELPED to create a history or myth for his own time, but he was also a serious historian of past times and particular places. As Fredric Jameson has observed, historical novels have built into them a formula lor realism, since the fictional part always...

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Patriarchy, Contract, and Repression in Scott's Novels

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pp. 213-241

THOUCiH SCOTT'S contribution to historical consciousness and to historiography undeniably rests upon specific achievements such as Old Mortality, his success as a creative mythographer of the nineteenth century followed from the continuities, the...

Index

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pp. 243-250